Global climate change has the potential to seriously and adversely affect marine ecosystem functioning. Numerous experimental and modeling studies have demonstrated how predicted ocean acidification and increased ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can affect marine microbes. However, researchers have largely ignored interactions between ocean acidification, increased UVR and anthropogenic pollutants in marine environments. Such interactions can alter chemical speciation and the bioavailability of several organic and inorganic pollutants with potentially deleterious effects, such as modifying microbial-mediated detoxification processes. Microbes mediate major biogeochemical cycles, providing fundamental ecosystems services such as environmental detoxification and recovery. It is, therefore, important that we understand how predicted changes to oceanic pH, UVR, and temperature will affect microbial pollutant detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. The intrinsic characteristics of microbes, such as their short generation time, small size, and functional role in biogeochemical cycles combined with recent advances in molecular techniques (e.g., metagenomics and metatranscriptomics) make microbes excellent models to evaluate the consequences of various climate change scenarios on detoxification processes in marine ecosystems. In this review, we highlight the importance of microbial microcosm experiments, coupled with high-resolution molecular biology techniques, to provide a critical experimental framework to start understanding how climate change, anthropogenic pollution, and microbiological interactions may affect marine ecosystems in the future.
Posts Tagged 'light'
Tags: biological response, light, methods, molecular biology, multiple factors, pollution, prokaryotes, review, temperature
Ultraviolet radiation modulates the physiological responses of the calcified rhodophyte Corallina officinalis to elevated CO2Published 10 April 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, laboratory, light, morphology, multiple factors, photosynthesis, physiology
Ocean acidification reduces the concentration of carbonate ions and increases those of bicarbonate ions in seawater compared with the present oceanic conditions. This altered composition of inorganic carbon species may, by interacting with ultraviolet radiation (UVR), affect the physiology of macroalgal species. However, very little is known about how calcareous algae respond to UVR and ocean acidification. Therefore, we conducted an experiment to determine the effects of UVR and ocean acidification on the calcified rhodophyte Corallina officinalis using CO2-enriched cultures with and without UVR exposure. Low pH increased the relative electron transport rates (rETR) but decreased the CaCO3 content and had a miniscule effect on growth. However, UVA (4.25 W m-2) and a moderate level of UVB (0.5 W m-2) increased the rETR and growth rates in C. officinalis, and there was a significant interactive effect of pH and UVR on UVR-absorbing compound concentrations. Thus, at low irradiance, pH and UVR interact in a way that affects the multiple physiological responses of C. officinalis differently. In particular, changes in the skeletal content induced by low pH may affect how C. officinalis absorbs and uses light. Therefore, the light quality used in ocean acidification experiments will affect the predictions of how calcified macroalgae will respond to elevated CO2.
Rising CO2 interacts with growth light and growth rate to alter photosystem II photoinactivation of the coastal diatom Thalassiosira pseudonanaPublished 28 March 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biogeochemistry, biological response, growth, laboratory, light, multiple factors, photosynthesis, phytoplankton
We studied the interactive effects of pCO2 and growth light on the coastal marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana CCMP 1335 growing under ambient and expected end-of-the-century pCO2 (750 ppmv), and a range of growth light from 30 to 380 µmol photons·m−2·s−1. Elevated pCO2 significantly stimulated the growth of T. pseudonana under sub-saturating growth light, but not under saturating to super-saturating growth light. Under ambient pCO2 susceptibility to photoinactivation of photosystem II (σi) increased with increasing growth rate, but cells growing under elevated pCO2 showed no dependence between growth rate and σi, so under high growth light cells under elevated pCO2 were less susceptible to photoinactivation of photosystem II, and thus incurred a lower running cost to maintain photosystem II function. Growth light altered the contents of RbcL (RUBISCO) and PsaC (PSI) protein subunits, and the ratios among the subunits, but there were only limited effects on these and other protein pools between cells grown under ambient and elevated pCO2.
Combined effects of CO2 and light on large and small isolates of the unicellular N2-fixing cyanobacterium Crocosphaera watsonii from the western tropical Atlantic OceanPublished 19 March 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, growth, laboratory, light, multiple factors, nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, prokaryotes
We examined the combined effects of light and pCO2 on growth, CO2-fixation and N2-fixation rates by strains of the unicellular marine N2-fixing cyanobacterium Crocosphaera watsonii with small (WH0401) and large (WH0402) cells that were isolated from the western tropical Atlantic Ocean. In low-pCO2-acclimated cultures (190 ppm) of WH0401, growth, CO2-fixation and N2-fixation rates were significantly lower than those in cultures acclimated to higher (present-day 385 ppm, or future 750 ppm) pCO2 treatments. Growth rates were not significantly different, however, in low-pCO2-acclimated cultures of WH0402 in comparison with higher pCO2 treatments. Unlike previous reports for C. watsonii (strain WH8501), N2-fixation rates did not increase further in cultures of WH0401 or WH0402 when acclimated to 750 ppm relative to those maintained at present-day pCO2. Both light and pCO2 had a significant negative effect on gross : net N2-fixation rates in WH0402 and trends were similar in WH0401, implying that retention of fixed N was enhanced under elevated light and pCO2. These data, along with previously reported results, suggest that C. watsonii may have wide-ranging, strain-specific responses to changing light and pCO2, emphasizing the need for examining the effects of global change on a range of isolates within this biogeochemically important genus. In general, however, our data suggest that cellular N retention and CO2-fixation rates of C. watsonii may be positively affected by elevated light and pCO2 within the next 100 years, potentially increasing trophic transfer efficiency of C and N and thereby facilitating uptake of atmospheric carbon by the marine biota.
Combined effects of CO2, temperature, irradiance and time on the physiological performance of Chondrus crispus (Rhodophyta)Published 1 March 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, growth, laboratory, light, morphology, multiple factors, North Atlantic, photosynthesis, temperature
In natural environments, marine biotas are exposed to a variety of simultaneously acting abiotic factors. Among these, temperature, irradiance and CO2 availability are major factors influencing the physiological performance of marine macroalgae. To test whether elevated levels of CO2 may remediate the otherwise reduced performance of uncalcified seaweeds under the influence of other stressful abiotic factors, we performed multi-factorial experiments with the red alga Chondrus crispus from Helgoland (North Sea) with two levels of CO2, temperature and irradiance: low and high pCO2 levels were tested in combination with either (1) optimal and low irradiances or (2) optimal and sub-lethal high temperatures for growth. Performance of C. crispus was evaluated as biomass increase and relative growth rates (RGR), gross photosynthesis and pigment content. Acclimations of growth and photosynthesis were measured after 4 and 8 days. Acclimation time was crucial for elucidating single or combined CO2 effects on growth and photosynthesis. Significant CO2 effects became evident only in combination with either elevated temperature or reduced irradiance. Growth and photosynthesis had divergent patterns: RGR and biomass significantly increased only under a combination of high pCO2 and elevated temperature; gross photosynthesis was significantly reduced under high pCO2 conditions at low irradiance. Pigment content varied in response to irradiance and temperature, but was independent of pCO2.
Tags: biological response, calcification, corals, laboratory, light, multiple factors, photosynthesis
Elevated seawater pCO2, and in turn ocean acidification (OA), is now widely acknowledged to reduce calcification and growth of reef building corals. As with other environmental factors (e.g., temperature and nutrients), light availability fundamentally regulates calcification and is predicted to change for future reef environments alongside elevated pCO2 via altered physical processes (e.g., sea level rise and turbidity); however, any potential role of light in regulating the OA-induced reduction of calcification is still unknown. We employed a multifactorial growth experiment to determine how light intensity and pCO2 together modify calcification for model coral species from two key genera, Acropora horrida and Porites cylindrica, occupying similar ecological niches but with different physiologies. We show that elevated pCO2 (OA)-induced losses of calcification in the light (G L) but not darkness (G D) were greatest under low-light growth conditions, in particular for A. horrida. High-light growth conditions therefore dampened the impact of OA upon G L but not G D. Gross photosynthesis (P G) responded in a reciprocal manner to G L suggesting OA-relieved pCO2 limitation of P G under high-light growth conditions to effectively enhance G L. A multivariate analysis of past OA experiments was used to evaluate whether our test species responses were more widely applicable across their respective genera. Indeed, the light intensity for growth was identified as a significant factor influencing the OA-induced decline of calcification for species of Acropora but not Porites. Whereas low-light conditions can provide a refuge for hard corals from thermal and light stress, our study suggests that lower light availability will potentially increase the susceptibility of key coral species to OA.
Complex responses of intertidal molluscan embryos to a warming and acidifying ocean in the presence of UV radiationPublished 14 February 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, light, mollusks, mortality, multiple factors, reproduction, South Pacific, temperature
Climate change and ocean acidification will expose marine organisms to synchronous multiple stressors, with early life stages being potentially most vulnerable to changing environmental conditions. We simultaneously exposed encapsulated molluscan embryos to three abiotic stressors—acidified conditions, elevated temperate, and solar UV radiation in large outdoor water tables in a multifactorial design. Solar UV radiation was modified with plastic filters, while levels of the other factors reflected IPCC predictions for near-future change. We quantified mortality and the rate of embryonic development for a mid-shore littorinid, Bembicium nanum, and low-shore opisthobranch, Dolabrifera brazieri. Outcomes were consistent for these model species with embryos faring significantly better at 26°C than 22°C. Mortality sharply increased at the lowest temperature (22°C) and lowest pH (7.6) examined, producing a significant interaction. Under these conditions mortality approached 100% for each species, representing a 2- to 4-fold increase in mortality relative to warm (26°C) non-acidified conditions. Predictably, development was more rapid at the highest temperature but this again interacted with acidified conditions. Development was slowed under acidified conditions at the lowest temperature. The presence of UV radiation had minimal impact on the outcomes, only slowing development for the littorinid and not interacting with the other factors. Our findings suggest that a warming ocean, at least to a threshold, may compensate for the effects of decreasing pH for some species. It also appears that stressors will interact in complex and unpredictable ways in a changing climate.
Tags: biological response, calcification, corals, light, multiple factors, North Pacific, survival
We tested the effect of light and pCO2 on the calcification and survival of Pocillopora damicornis recruits settled from larvae released in southern Taiwan. In March 2011, recruits were incubated at 31, 41, 70, 122, and 226 μmol photons m-2s-1 under ambient (493 μatm) and high pCO2 (878 μatm). After 5 days calcification was measured gravimetrically and survivorship estimated as the number of living recruits. Calcification was affected by the interaction of pCO2 with light, and at 493 μatm pCO2 the response to light intensity resembled a positive parabola. At 878 μatm pCO2, the effect of light on calcification differed from that observed at 493 μatm pCO2, with the result that there were large differences in calcification between 493 μatm and 878 μatm pCO2 at intermediate light intensities (ca. 70 μmol photons m-2s-1), but similar rates of calcification at the highest and lowest light intensities. Survivorship was affected by light and pCO2, and was highest at 122 μmol photons m-2s-1 in both pCO2 treatments, but was unrelated to calcification. In June 2012 the experiment was repeated, and again the results suggested that exposure to high pCO2 decreased calcification of P. damicornis recruits at intermediate light intensities, but not at lower or higher intensities. Together, our findings demonstrate that the effect of pCO2 on coral recruits can be light-dependent, with inhibitory effects of high pCO2 on calcification at intermediate light intensities that disappear at both higher and lower light intensities.
Effects of feeding and light intensity on the response of the coral Porites rus to ocean acidificationPublished 14 January 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, calcification, corals, laboratory, light, morphology, multiple factors, nutrients, South Pacific
Recently, it has been suggested that there are conditions under which some coral species appear to be resistant to the effects of ocean acidification. To test if such resistance can be explained by environmental factors such as light and food availability, the present study investigated the effect of 3 feeding regimes crossed with 2 light levels on the response of the coral Porites rus to 2 levels of pCO2 at 28 °C. After 1, 2, and 3 weeks of incubation under experimental conditions, none of the factors—including pCO2—significantly affected area-normalized calcification and biomass-normalized calcification. Biomass also was unaffected during the first 2 weeks, but after 3 weeks, corals that were fed had more biomass per unit area than starved corals. These results suggest that P. rus is resistant to short-term exposure to high pCO2, regardless of food availability and light intensity. P. rus might therefore represent a model system for exploring the genetic basis of tolerance to OA.
Ocean acidification affects redox-balance and ion-homeostasis in the life-cycle stages of Emiliania huxleyiPublished 7 January 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, calcification, growth, laboratory, light, molecular biology, multiple factors, physiology, phytoplankton
Ocean Acidification (OA) has been shown to affect photosynthesis and calcification in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, a cosmopolitan calcifier that significantly contributes to the regulation of the biological carbon pumps. Its non-calcifying, haploid life-cycle stage was found to be relatively unaffected by OA with respect to biomass production. Deeper insights into physiological key processes and their dependence on environmental factors are lacking, but are required to understand and possibly estimate the dynamics of carbon cycling in present and future oceans. Therefore, calcifying diploid and non-calcifying haploid cells were acclimated to present and future CO2 partial pressures (pCO2; 38.5 Pa vs. 101.3 Pa CO2) under low and high light (50 vs. 300 µmol photons m−2 s−1). Comparative microarray-based transcriptome profiling was used to screen for the underlying cellular processes and allowed to follow up interpretations derived from physiological data. In the diplont, the observed increases in biomass production under OA are likely caused by stimulated production of glycoconjugates and lipids. The observed lowered calcification under OA can be attributed to impaired signal-transduction and ion-transport. The haplont utilizes distinct genes and metabolic pathways, reflecting the stage-specific usage of certain portions of the genome. With respect to functionality and energy-dependence, however, the transcriptomic OA-responses resemble those of the diplont. In both life-cycle stages, OA affects the cellular redox-state as a master regulator and thereby causes a metabolic shift from oxidative towards reductive pathways, which involves a reconstellation of carbon flux networks within and across compartments. Whereas signal transduction and ion-homeostasis appear equally OA-sensitive under both light intensities, the effects on carbon metabolism and light physiology are clearly modulated by light availability. These interactive effects can be attributed to the influence of OA and light on the redox equilibria of NAD and NADP, which function as major sensors for energization and stress. This generic mode of action of OA may therefore provoke similar cell-physiological responses in other protists.