Posts Tagged 'temperature'

The Arctic picoeukaryote Micromonas pusilla benefits synergistically from warming and ocean acidification (update)

In the Arctic Ocean, climate change effects such as warming and ocean acidification (OA) are manifesting faster than in other regions. Yet, we are lacking a mechanistic understanding of the interactive effects of these drivers on Arctic primary producers. In the current study, one of the most abundant species of the Arctic Ocean, the prasinophyte Micromonas pusilla, was exposed to a range of different pCO2 levels at two temperatures representing realistic current and future scenarios for nutrient-replete conditions. We observed that warming and OA synergistically increased growth rates at intermediate to high pCO2 levels. Furthermore, elevated temperatures shifted the pCO2 optimum of biomass production to higher levels. Based on changes in cellular composition and photophysiology, we hypothesise that the observed synergies can be explained by beneficial effects of warming on carbon fixation in combination with facilitated carbon acquisition under OA. Our findings help to understand the higher abundances of picoeukaryotes such as M. pusilla under OA, as has been observed in many mesocosm studies.

Continue reading ‘The Arctic picoeukaryote Micromonas pusilla benefits synergistically from warming and ocean acidification (update)’

Additive effects of pCO2 and temperature on respiration rates of the Antarctic pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica

The Antarctic pteropod, Limacina helicina antarctica, is a dominant member of the zooplankton in the Ross Sea and supports the vast diversity of marine megafauna that designates this region as an internationally protected area. Here, we observed the response of respiration rate to abiotic stressors associated with global change—environmentally relevant temperature treatments (−0.8°C, 4°C) and pH treatments reflecting current-day and future modeled extremes (8.2, 7.95 and 7.7 pH at −0.8°C; 8.11, 7.95 and 7.7 pH at 4°C). Sampling repeatedly over a 14-day period in laboratory experiments and using microplate respirometry techniques, we found that the metabolic rate of juvenile pteropods increased in response to low-pH exposure (pH 7.7) at −0.8°C, a near-ambient temperature. Similarly, metabolic rate increased when pteropods were exposed simultaneously to multiple stressors: lowered pH conditions (pH 7.7) and a high temperature (4°C). Overall, the results showed that pCO2 and temperature interact additively to affect metabolic rates in pteropods. Furthermore, we found that L. h. antarctica can tolerate acute exposure to temperatures far beyond its maximal habitat temperature. Overall, L. h. antarctica appears to be susceptible to pH and temperature stress, two abiotic stressors which are expected to be especially deleterious for ectothermic marine metazoans in polar seas.

Continue reading ‘Additive effects of pCO2 and temperature on respiration rates of the Antarctic pteropod Limacina helicina antarctica’

Susceptibility of two co-existing mytilid species to simulated predation under projected climate change conditions

Properties of the shells and byssus filaments secreted by marine mussels are affected by environmental and biotic factors. In this study, we investigated the effects of pH and temperature on shell and byssus in artificially created monospecific and mixed aggregations of the indigenous mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the invasive mussel Xenostrobus securis. The variability in the response of the mussels was mainly explained by species-specific interactions derived from the type of aggregation. In the mixed groups, acidic conditions caused a decrease in byssus strength in M. galloprovincialis, but an increase in byssus strength in X. securis. Increased temperature positively affected shell strength in X. securis, but only in mixed aggregations. Interactive effects of acidification and warming were only detected in the organic matter of shells, the strength of which decreased in M. galloprovincialis in mixed aggregations. Although the invasive mussel may be able to take advantage of changed conditions by enhancing byssal attachment, the effects that acidification has on shells may make this species more vulnerable to some predators. The study findings provide some insight into the responses of protective and attachment structures of mussels to biotic and abiotic stressors, highlighting how species interactions may shape the future of mytilid populations.

Continue reading ‘Susceptibility of two co-existing mytilid species to simulated predation under projected climate change conditions’

Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the diversity and the functioning of macroalgal communities (full thesis in French)

Predicted ocean acidification and warming for the end of the century may have drastic consequences on the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. However, a lack of knowledge persists on the impact of future changes on the response of marine communities. This thesis aims to provide new understanding of the impact of ocean acidification and warming at the community level. For this, two ecosystems have been considered: rockpools, characterized by high physico-chemical variations, and maerl beds, with smaller variations. In the laboratory, artificial assemblages were created from the main calcareous and fleshy macroalgal and grazer species present in these two ecosystems. Created assemblages have been subjected to ambient and future temperature and pCO2 conditions. Ocean acidification and warming altered the structure and functioning of maerl bed assemblages, through an increase in the productivity of non-calcareous macroalgae and a decline in maërl calcification rates. The physiology of grazers is negatively impacted by future changes, which altered assemblages’ trophic structure. On the other hand, ocean acidification and warming had no effect on the productivity of rockpool assemblages. The highly variable environment may thus increase the resistance of rockpool communities to future changes, compared to communities from more stable environments, such as maerl beds.

Continue reading ‘Impact of ocean acidification and warming on the diversity and the functioning of macroalgal communities (full thesis in French)’

Effects of CO2 supply on growth and photosynthetic ability of young sporophytes of the economic seaweed Sargassum fusiforme (Sargassaceae, Phaeophyta)

Young sporophytes of Sargassum fusiforme were cultured at decreased CO2 (20 μatm), ambient CO2 (400 μatm), and high CO2 (1000 μatm), and then the quantum efficiency of open photosystem II (Fv′/Fm′), initial slope of the rapid light curves (α), and relative maximum photosynthetic electron transport rate (rETRm) of the algae under different temperatures and light levels were measured. The study aimed to investigate how the decreased CO2 and high CO2 supply affected the growth and photosynthetic functions of S. fusiforme young sporophytes. While both lowered and increased CO2 supply significantly reduced the growth rates of the alga, greater declines were observed under decreased CO2. The Fv′/Fm′, α, and rETRm of alga remained stable after short-term (120 min) exposures to 18, 22, and 26 °C, as well as to highlight (300 μmol photons m−2 s−1), with no significant difference among the three CO2 supply treatments. Hence, neither decreased nor increased CO2 affected the photosynthetic responses of S. fusiforme young sporophytes to temperature and high light. However, the Fv′/Fm′ of the three CO2 treatments declined by 72% under 60 μmol photons m−2 s−1, suggesting its sensitivity to short-term low light. These observations are crucial for the improved management of S. fusiforme for commercial farming, while ensuring its sustainable production and supply amid seawater pH shifts brought about by global climate change.

Continue reading ‘Effects of CO2 supply on growth and photosynthetic ability of young sporophytes of the economic seaweed Sargassum fusiforme (Sargassaceae, Phaeophyta)’

Baltic Sea diazotrophic cyanobacterium is negatively affected by acidification and warming

Nitrogen fixation is a key source of nitrogen in the Baltic Sea which counteracts nitrogen loss processes in the deep anoxic basins. Laboratory and field studies have indicated that single-strain nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) cyanobacteria from the Baltic Sea are sensitive to ocean acidification and warming, 2 drivers of marked future change in the marine environment. Here, we enclosed a natural plankton community in 12 indoor mesocosms (volume ~1400 l) and manipulated partial pressure of carbon dioxide ( pCO2) in seawater to yield 6 CO2 treatments with 2 different temperature treatments (16.6°C and 22.4°C, pCO2 range = 360-2030 µatm). We followed the filamentous, heterocystous diazotrophic cyanobacteria community (Nostocales, primarily Nodularia spumigena) over 4 wk. Our results indicate that heterocystous diazotrophic cyanobacteria may become less competitive in natural plankton communities under ocean acidification. Elevated CO2 had a negative impact on Nodularia sp. biomass, which was exacerbated by warming. Our results imply that Nodularia sp. may contribute less to new nitrogen inputs in the Baltic Sea in the future.

Continue reading ‘Baltic Sea diazotrophic cyanobacterium is negatively affected by acidification and warming’

Integrated multi-biomarker responses of juvenile seabass to diclofenac, warming and acidification co-exposure


• An integrated multi-biomarker approach was used to assess ecotoxicological responses of D. labrax under the co-exposure to DCF, warming and acidification.
• DCF decreased HSI, BBratio, erythrocyte viability and HSP70/HSC70 content in fish brain.
• DCF induced ENAs, oxidative stress, Ub synthesis in muscle, brain AChE activity and liver VTG synthesis.
• DCF deleterious effects were either enhanced or reversed/inhibited by the co-exposure to acidification and/or warming.
• IBR showed that DCF and warming co-exposure resulted in an overall higher degree of stress.
• Results highlighted the need to consider interactions between different stressors in future ecotoxicological studies.


Pharmaceutical drugs, such as diclofenac (DCF), are frequently detected in the marine environment, and recent evidence has pointed out their toxicity to non-target marine biota. Concomitantly, altered environmental conditions associated with climate change (e.g. warming and acidification) can also affect the physiology of marine organisms. Yet, the underlying interactions between these environmental stressors (pharmaceutical exposure and climate change-related stressors) still require a deeper understanding. Comprehending the influence of abiotic variables on chemical contaminants’ toxicological attributes provides a broader view of the ecological consequences of climate change. Hence, the aim of this study was to assess the ecotoxicological responses of juvenile seabass Dicenthrachus labrax under the co-exposure to DCF (from dietary sources, 500 ± 36 ng kg-1 dw), warming (ΔTºC = +5 °C) and acidification (ΔpCO2 ~1000 µatm, equivalent to ΔpH = -0.4 units), using an “Integrated Biomarker Response” (IBR) approach. Fish were exposed to these three stressors, acting alone or combined, for 28 days in a full cross-factorial design, and blood, brain, liver and muscle tissues were subsequently collected in order to evaluate: i) animal/organ fitness; ii) hematological parameters and iii) molecular biomarkers. Results not only confirmed the toxicological attributes of dietary exposure to DCF in marine fish species at the tissue (e.g. lower HSI), cellular (e.g. increased ENAs and lower erythrocytes viability) and molecular levels (e.g. increased oxidative stress, protein degradation, AChE activity and VTG synthesis), but also showed that such attributes are altered by warming and acidification. Hence, while acidification and/or warming enhanced some effects of DCF exposure (e.g. by further lowering erythrocyte viability, and increasing brain GST activity and Ub synthesis in muscle), the co-exposure to these abiotic stressors also resulted in a reversion/inhibition of some molecular responses (e.g. lower CAT and SOD inhibition and VTG synthesis). IBRs evidenced that an overall higher degree of stress (i.e. high IBR index) was associated with DCF and warming co-exposure, while the effects of acidification were less evident. The distinct responses observed when DCF acted alone or the animals were co-exposed to the drug together with warming and acidification not only highlighted the relevance of considering the interactions between multiple environmental stressors in ecotoxicological studies, but also suggested that the toxicity of pharmaceuticals can be aggravated by climate change-related stressors (particularly warming), thus, posing additional biological challenges to marine fish populations.

Continue reading ‘Integrated multi-biomarker responses of juvenile seabass to diclofenac, warming and acidification co-exposure’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book