Posts Tagged 'temperature'



Effects of seawater pH and temperature on foraging behavior of the Japanese stone crab Charybdis japonica

We examined prey selection and foraging behaviors of the crab Charybdis japonica exposed to four combinations of pH (7.3 and 8.1) and temperature (18 °C and 25 °C). The order of prey selection by C. japonica was Potamocorbula laevis, Ruditapes philippinarum, Tegillarca granosa and Mactra veneriformis. Under high pCO2, times for searching, breaking, eating and handling were all significantly longer than those at the normal pCO2, and the prey profitability and predation rate under high pCO2 were significantly lower than normal pCO2. Moreover, temperature significantly influenced the foraging behaviors, but its effects were not as strong as those of pH; times for searching, eating and handling under high temperature were significantly lower than the low temperature, and the prey predation rates under high temperature was significantly higher than low temperature. In conclusion, high pCO2 negatively affected the foraging behavior, but high temperature actively stimulated the foraging behaviors of crabs.

Continue reading ‘Effects of seawater pH and temperature on foraging behavior of the Japanese stone crab Charybdis japonica’

Primary life stage boron isotope and trace elements incorporation in aposymbiotic Acropora millepora coral under ocean acidification and warming

Early-life stages of reef-building corals are vital to coral existence and reef maintenance. It is therefore crucial to study juvenile coral response to future climate change pressures. Moreover, corals are known to be reliable recorders of environmental conditions in their skeletal materials. Aposymbiotic Acropora millepora larvae were cultured in different seawater temperature (27 and 29ºC) and pCO2 (390 and 750 µatm) conditions to understand the impacts of ‘end of century’ ocean acidification (OA) and ocean warming (OW) conditions on skeletal morphology and geochemistry. The experimental conditions impacted primary polyp juvenile coral skeletal morphology and growth resulting in asymmetric translucent appearances with brittle skeleton features. The impact of OA resulted in microstructure differences with decreased precipitation or lengthening of fasciculi and disorganized aragonite crystals that led to more concentrations of centers of calcifications. The coral skeletal δ11B composition measured by laser ablation MC-ICP-MS was significantly affected by pCO2 (p = 0.0024) and water temperature (p = 1.46 x 10-5). Reconstructed pH of the primary polyp skeleton using the δ11B proxy suggests a difference in coral calcification site and seawater pH consistent with previously observed coral pH up-regulation. Similarly, trace element results measured by laser ablation ICP-MS indicate the impact of pCO2. Primary polyp juvenile Sr/Ca ratio indicates a bias in reconstructed sea surface temperature (SST) under higher pCO2 conditions. Coral microstructure content changes (center of calcification and fasciculi) due to OA possibly contributed to the variability in B/Ca ratios. Our results imply that increasing OA and OW may lead to coral acclimation issues and species-specific inaccuracies of the commonly used Sr/Ca-SST proxy.

Continue reading ‘Primary life stage boron isotope and trace elements incorporation in aposymbiotic Acropora millepora coral under ocean acidification and warming’

Lipid consumption in coral larvae differs among sites: a consideration of environmental history in a global ocean change scenario

The success of early life-history stages is an environmentally sensitive bottleneck for many marine invertebrates. Responses of larvae to environmental stress may vary due to differences in maternal investment of energy stores and acclimatization/adaptation of a population to local environmental conditions. In this study, we compared two populations from sites with different environmental regimes (Moorea and Taiwan). We assessed the responses of Pocillopora damicornis larvae to two future co-occurring environmental stressors: elevated temperature and ocean acidification. Larvae from Taiwan were more sensitive to temperature, producing fewer energy-storage lipids under high temperature. In general, planulae in Moorea and Taiwan responded similarly to pCO2. Additionally, corals in the study sites with different environments produced larvae with different initial traits, which may have shaped the different physiological responses observed. Notably, under ambient conditions, planulae in Taiwan increased their stores of wax ester and triacylglycerol in general over the first 24 h of their dispersal, whereas planulae from Moorea consumed energy-storage lipids in all cases. Comparisons of physiological responses of P. damicornis larvae to conditions of ocean acidification and warming between sites across the species’ biogeographic range illuminates the variety of physiological responses maintained within P. damicornis, which may enhance the overall persistence of this species in the light of global climate change.

Continue reading ‘Lipid consumption in coral larvae differs among sites: a consideration of environmental history in a global ocean change scenario’

Ocean acidification dampens warming and contamination effects on the physiological stress response of a commercially important fish

Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emissions are leading to changes in ocean temperature and carbonate chemistry, the so-called ocean warming and acidification phenomena, respectively. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the most abundant form of mercury (Hg), well-known for its toxic effects on biota and environmental persistency. Despite more than likely co-occurrence in future oceans, the interactive effects of these stressors are largely unknown. Here we assessed organ-dependent Hg accumulation (gills, liver and muscle) within a warming (ΔT = 4 ºC) and acidification (ΔpCO2 = 1100 µatm) context, and the respective phenotypic responses of molecular chaperone and antioxidant enzymatic machineries, in a commercially important fish (the meagre Argyrosomus regius). After 30 days of exposure, although no mortalities were observed in any treatments, Hg concentration was significantly enhanced under warming conditions, significantly more so in the liver. On the other hand, increased CO2 decreased Hg accumulation and, despite negative effects prompted as a sole stressor, consistently elicited an antagonistic effect with temperature and contamination on oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-tranferase activities) and heat shock (Hsp70 levels) responses. We argue that the mechanistic interactions are grounded on simultaneous increase in excessive hydrogen (H+) and reactive oxygen species (e.g. O2−) free radicals, and subsequent chemical reaction equilibrium balancing. Additional multi-stressor experiments are needed to understand such biochemical mechanism and further disentangle interactive (additive, synergistic or antagonistic) stressor effects on fish ecophysiology in the oceans of tomorrow.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification dampens warming and contamination effects on the physiological stress response of a commercially important fish’

The future for microplankton in the Baltic Sea – Effects of SWS and climate change

The Baltic Sea is located between 53°N to 66°N and from 10°E to 30°E and is the second largest brackish water body in the world. It consists of several basins where the Baltic Proper is the major water mass. Around 85 million people live in the catchment area of the Baltic Sea, which subjects it to a range of environmental pressures, such as increased nutrient inputs from human activities (eutrophication), shipping, over-fishing, acid rain and trace metals released from anti-fouling paint. All these stressors, combined with low alkalinity, variable salinity and limited water exchange, makes the Baltic Sea a very sensitive area that may be less resilient to future stressors such as climate change or increased shipping activities. Microplankton communities consist of small heterotrophic bacteria, picoplankton, phytoplankton, cyanobacteria and smaller grazers, such as ciliates and zooplankton. In the Baltic Proper, there is a succession of blooms, within the microplankton community, from diatoms and dinoflagellates in the early spring to cyanobacteria during summer and ending with a second diatom and dinoflagellate bloom in the autumn. The cyanobacteria of the Baltic Proper bloom every summer and are dominated by Aphanizomenon sp. and Nodularia spumigena. Dolichospermum spp. is present but is less abundant. The effects of climate change were tested on a natural microplankton community, as well as on isolated cyanobacteria species from the Baltic Sea. To simulate effects of climate change, the temperature was increased from 12°C to 16°C, salinity decreased from 6-7 to 3-4 and atmospheric pCO2-levels was increased from 380 ppm to 960 ppm. The biovolume of Aphanizomenon sp. and N. spumigena increased when temperature was increased by 4°C. When salinity was decreased by three units, both the growth and photosynthetic activity of N. spumigena were reduced while Aphanizomenon sp. was unaffected, and the growth of Dolichospermum sp. was increased. Furthermore, present-day salinities were beneficial, in terms of increased biovolumes, of diatoms, dinoflagellates and ciliates, compared to reduced future salinity. Increased atmospheric pCO2 had no effect on any of the species in the microplankton community. These results show that the future microplankton community may be positive, in terms of increased biovolume, for the cyanobacteria species Aphanizomenon sp. and Dolichospermum spp. An increase of cyanobacteria blooms may open up to the possibility to grow and/or harvest these species as a source of biofuel or fatty acids (FA). Dolichospermum sp. yielded higher total FA content per biovolume, compared to the other two cyanobacteria species in phosphorus-depleted medium and Aphanizomenon sp. in nitrogen-depleted medium. Natural nutrient levels in the Baltic Proper are low both in nitrogen and phosphorus, which indicates a possible future market for biofuel and FA technologies. Additionally, the effects of seawater scrubbing (SWS) were tested on a natural summer-bloom microplankton community. Three different concentrations of scrubber water were added; 1%, 3% and 10%. To elucidate effects of decreased pH alone, water acidified with H2SO4 was added in equal concentrations. The six treatments were compared to a control without acidifying substances. SWS or the corresponding pH treatments, did not have a direct effect on microplankton species composition and biovolume. However, the increased amount of Cu and Zn in the scrubber water, combined with significant decrease in pH and alkalinity already at the 1% scrubber water treatment calls for precaution when implementing scrubber units on the shipping fleet of the Baltic Sea. The accumulated effects of long-term repeated addition constantly throughout the year, i.e. in a shipping lane, are yet to be elucidated.

Continue reading ‘The future for microplankton in the Baltic Sea – Effects of SWS and climate change’

Boosted food web productivity through ocean acidification collapses under warming

Future climate is forecast to drive bottom-up (resource driven) and top-down (consumer driven) change to food web dynamics and community structure. Yet, our predictive understanding of these changes is hampered by an over-reliance on simplified laboratory systems centred on single trophic levels. Using a large mesocosm experiment, we reveal how future ocean acidification and warming modify trophic linkages across a three-level food web: that is, primary (algae), secondary (herbivorous invertebrates) and tertiary (predatory fish) producers. Both elevated CO2 and elevated temperature boosted primary production. Under elevated CO2, the enhanced bottom-up forcing propagated through all trophic levels. Elevated temperature, however, negated the benefits of elevated CO2 by stalling secondary production. This imbalance caused secondary producer populations to decline as elevated temperature drove predators to consume their prey more rapidly in the face of higher metabolic demand. Our findings demonstrate how anthropogenic CO2 can function as a resource that boosts productivity throughout food webs, and how warming can reverse this effect by acting as a stressor to trophic interactions. Understanding the shifting balance between the propagation of resource enrichment and its consumption across trophic levels provides a predictive understanding of future dynamics of stability and collapse in food webs and fisheries production.

Continue reading ‘Boosted food web productivity through ocean acidification collapses under warming’

Elevated temperature has adverse effects on GABA-mediated avoidance behaviour to sediment acidification in a wide-ranging marine bivalve

Sediment acidification is known to influence the burrowing behaviour of juvenile marine bivalves. Unlike the alteration of behaviour by ocean acidification (OA) observed in many marine organisms, this burrowing response to present-day variation in sediment pH is likely adaptive in that it allows these organisms to avoid shell dissolution and mortality. However, the consequences of global climate stressors on these burrowing responses have yet to be tested. Further, while neurotransmitter interference appears to be linked to the alteration of behaviour by OA in marine vertebrates, the mechanism(s) controlling the burrowing responses of juvenile bivalves in response to present-day variation in sediment acidification remain unknown. We tested the interactive effects of elevated seawater temperature and sediment acidification on juvenile soft-shell clam burrowing behaviour (measured as the proportion of clams burrowed into sediment) to test for effects of elevated temperature on bivalve burrowing responses to sediment acidification. We also examined whether GABAA-like receptor interference could act as a potential biological mechanism underpinning the burrowing responses of these clams to present-day variation in sediment acidification. Results showed that both elevated temperature and gabazine administration reduced the proportion of clams that avoided burrowing into low pH sediment. These results suggest that CO2 effects on neurophysiology (GABAA receptors) can act to mediate adaptive behaviours in juvenile marine bivalves to elevated CO2, but that these behaviours may be adversely affected by elevated temperature.

Continue reading ‘Elevated temperature has adverse effects on GABA-mediated avoidance behaviour to sediment acidification in a wide-ranging marine bivalve’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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