Posts Tagged 'zooplankton'

Future ocean climate homogenizes communities across habitats through diversity loss and rise of generalist species

Predictions of the effects of global change on ecological communities are largely based on single habitats. Yet in nature, habitats are interconnected through the exchange of energy and organisms, and the responses of local communities may not extend to emerging community networks (i.e. metacommunities). Using large mesocosms and meiofauna communities as a model system, we investigated the interactive effects of ocean warming and acidification on the structure of marine metacommunities from three shallow‐water habitats: sandy soft‐bottoms, marine vegetation and rocky reef substrates. Primary producers and detritus – key food sources for meiofauna – increased in biomass under the combined effect of temperature and acidification. The enhanced bottom‐up forcing boosted nematode densities but impoverished the functional and trophic diversity of nematode metacommunities. The combined climate stressors further homogenized meiofauna communities across habitats. Under present‐day conditions metacommunities were structured by habitat type, but under future conditions they showed an unstructured random pattern with fast‐growing generalist species dominating the communities of all habitats. Homogenization was likely driven by local species extinctions, reducing interspecific competition that otherwise could have prevented single species from dominating multiple niches. Our findings reveal that climate change may simplify metacommunity structure and prompt biodiversity loss, which may affect the biological organization and resilience of marine communities.

Continue reading ‘Future ocean climate homogenizes communities across habitats through diversity loss and rise of generalist species’

Acclimation and adaptation of the coastal calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa to ocean acidification: a long-term laboratory investigation

Ocean acidification impacts many marine biota. Although evolutionary responses should occur during persisting environmental change, little is known about the adaptability of copepods. Therefore, we set up a 3½ yr long selection experiment, maintaining Acartia tonsa populations in seawater treated with 200 and 800 μatm CO2, and feeding them with algae cultured under corresponding CO2 conditions. In 3 reciprocal transplant experiments, roughly 1 yr apart, we measured developmental rates, C:N and C:P ratios, egg production and hatching rates of the different lines. In the transplant experiments, we observed significantly lower developmental rates in the high CO2 treatment independent of the selective history. Egg production and hatching success were unaffected by the experimental conditions, but we observed an earlier hatching of eggs from females with a high CO2 selective history. Over the experimental period, beneficial adaptations of the copepods cultured under high CO2 conditions of elevated seawater pCO2 and associated food quality were not detected. However, towards the end of the experiment, copepods cultured under elevated pCO2 and fed with high CO2 algae showed increased body mass and decreased prosome length.

Continue reading ‘Acclimation and adaptation of the coastal calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa to ocean acidification: a long-term laboratory investigation’

Effect of ocean acidification on the nutritional quality of marine phytoplankton for copepod reproduction

Phytoplankton are the oceans’ principal source of polyunsaturated fatty acids that support the growth and reproduction of consumers such as copepods. Previous studies have demonstrated ocean acidification (OA) can change the availability of polyunsaturated fatty acids to consumer diets which may affect consumer reproduction. Two laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effects of feeding high-pCO2-reared phytoplankton on copepod egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival. Marine phytoplankton Rhodomonas salina, Skeletonema marinoi, Prorocentrum micans, and Isochrysis galbana were exponentially grown in semi-continuous cultures at present (control) (400 ppm CO2, pH~8.1) and future (1,000 ppm CO2, pH~7.8) conditions and provided to Acartia tonsa copepods over 4 consecutive days as either nitrogen-limited (Exp. I) or nitrogen-depleted (Exp. II) mixed assemblage of phytoplankton. The composition of FAs in the phytoplankton diet was affected by pCO2 concentration and nitrogen deficiency; the ratio of essential fatty acids to total polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased in phytoplankton grown under high pCO2 and the mass of total fatty acids increased under nitrogen depletion. Additionally, total concentrations of essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet mixtures were less under the high-pCO2 compared to the control-pCO2 treatments. Median egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival were 48–52%, 4–87%, and 9–100% lower, respectively, in females fed high-pCO2 than females fed low-pCO2 phytoplankton, but this decrease in reproductive success was less severe when fed N-depleted, but fatty acid-rich cells. This study demonstrates that the effects of OA on the nutritional quality of phytoplankton (i.e., their cellular fatty acid composition and quota) were modified by the level of nitrogen deficiency and the resulting negative reproductive response of marine primary consumers.

Continue reading ‘Effect of ocean acidification on the nutritional quality of marine phytoplankton for copepod reproduction’

Effects of ocean acidification on life parameters and antioxidant system in the marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus

Highlights

• Exposure of OA to copepod resulted in reduction in the growth rate with decreased fecundity and body length.

• GST and GR activities were increased in response to OA-induced oxidative stress while GPx and SOD activities were decreased in a pH-dependent manner.

• GSTs2b was significantly up-regulated in response to OA.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) is caused by alteration of global ocean carbon chemistry due to the increased pCO2 in the atmosphere and caused deleterious impacts on the marine ecosystem. Although various detrimental effects of OA were reported in marine organisms, the potential impact of OA on aquatic invertebrates still remains largely unknown. Here, we examined changes in life parameters and antioxidant system in response to low pH (7.5 and 7) in the marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus. Exposures to lower pHs (pH 7.5 and 7.0) of copepods resulted in lengthening of the developmental time with decreased fecundity and body length. Also, they showed increased reactive oxygen species contents with enhanced glutathione S-transferase and glutathione reductase activities but decreased glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities in pH-dependent manner, indicating that OA exposure caused disturbance of the redox system in T. japonicus. Among several oxidative stress-related genes, GSTs2b was significantly up-regulated in response to OA. These findings will be helpful for a better understanding on the potential impact of OA on life parameters and antioxidant system in the marine copepod T. japonicus.

Continue reading ‘Effects of ocean acidification on life parameters and antioxidant system in the marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus’

Degradation of internal organic matter is the main control on pteropod shell dissolution after death

The potential for preservation of thecosome pteropods is thought to be largely governed by the chemical stability of their delicate aragonitic shells in seawater. However, sediment trap studies have found that significant carbonate dissolution can occur above the carbonate saturation horizon. Here we present the results from experiments conducted on two cruises to the Scotia Sea to directly test whether the breakdown of the organic pteropod body influences shell dissolution. We find that, on the timescales of three to thirteen days, the oxidation of organic matter within the shells of dead pteropods is a stronger driver of shell dissolution than the saturation state of seawater. Three to four days after death, shells became milky white and nano‐SEM images reveal smoothing of internal surface features and increased shell porosity, both indicative of aragonite dissolution. These findings have implications for the interpretation of the condition of pteropod shells from sediment traps and the fossil record, as well as for understanding the processes controlling particulate carbonate export from the surface ocean.

Continue reading ‘Degradation of internal organic matter is the main control on pteropod shell dissolution after death’

Systematic review and meta-analysis toward synthesis of thresholds of ocean acidification impacts on calcifying pteropods and interactions with warming

Interpreting the vulnerability of pelagic calcifiers to ocean acidification (OA) is enhanced by an understanding of their critical thresholds and how these thresholds are modified by other climate change stressors (e.g., warming). To address this need, we undertook a three-part data synthesis for pteropods, one of the calcifying zooplankton group. We conducted the first meta-analysis and threshold analysis of literature characterizing pteropod responses to OA and warming by synthetizing dataset comprising of 2,097 datapoints. Meta-analysis revealed the extent to which responses among studies conducted on differing life stages and disparate geographies could be integrated into a common analysis. The results demonstrated reduced calcification, growth, development, and survival to OA with increased magnitude of sensitivity in the early life stages, under prolonged duration, and with the concurrent exposure of OA and warming, but not species-specific sensitivity. Second, breakpoint analyses identified OA thresholds for several endpoints: dissolution (mild and severe), calcification, egg development, shell growth, and survival. Finally, consensus by a panel of pteropod experts was used to verify thresholds and assign confidence scores for five endpoints with a sufficient signal: noise ratio to develop life-stage specific, duration-dependent thresholds. The range of aragonite saturation state from 1.5–0.9 provides a risk range from early warning to lethal impacts, thus providing a rigorous basis for vulnerability assessments to guide climate change management responses, including an evaluation of the efficacy of local pollution management. In addition, meta-analyses with OA, and warming shows increased vulnerability in two pteropod processes, i.e., shell dissolution and survival, and thus pointing toward increased threshold sensitivity under combined stressor effect.

Continue reading ‘Systematic review and meta-analysis toward synthesis of thresholds of ocean acidification impacts on calcifying pteropods and interactions with warming’

Analyzing the impacts of elevated-CO2 levels on the development of a subtropical zooplankton community during oligotrophic conditions and simulated upwelling

Ocean acidification (OA) is affecting marine ecosystems through changes in carbonate chemistry that may influence consumers of phytoplankton, often via trophic pathways. Using a mesocosm approach, we investigated OA effects on a subtropical zooplankton community during oligotrophic, bloom, and post-bloom phases under a range of different pCO2 levels (from ∼400 to ∼1480 μatm). Furthermore, we simulated an upwelling event by adding 650 m-depth nutrient-rich water to the mesocosms, which initiated a phytoplankton bloom. No effects of pCO2 on the zooplankton community were visible in the oligotrophic conditions before the bloom. The zooplankton community responded to phytoplankton bloom by increased abundances in all treatments, although the response was delayed under high-pCO2 conditions. Microzooplankton was dominated by small dinoflagellates and aloricate ciliates, which were more abundant under medium- to high-pCO2 conditions. The most abundant mesozooplankters were calanoid copepods, which did not respond to CO2 treatments during the oligotrophic phase of the experiment but were found in higher abundance under medium- and high-pCO2 conditions toward the end of the experiment, most likely as a response to increased phyto- and microzooplankton standing stocks. The second most abundant mesozooplankton taxon were appendicularians, which did not show a response to the different pCO2 treatments. Overall, CO2 effects on zooplankton seemed to be primarily transmitted through significant CO2 effects on phytoplankton and therefore indirect pathways. We conclude that elevated pCO2 can change trophic cascades with significant effects on zooplankton, what might ultimately affect higher trophic levels in the future.

Continue reading ‘Analyzing the impacts of elevated-CO2 levels on the development of a subtropical zooplankton community during oligotrophic conditions and simulated upwelling’


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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book