The concentration of CO2 in global surface ocean waters is increasing due to rising atmospheric CO2 emissions, resulting in lower pH and a lower saturation state of carbonate ions. Such changes in seawater chemistry are expected to impact calcification in calcifying marine organisms. However, other physiological processes related to calcification might also be affected, including enzyme activity. In a mesocosm experiment, macroalgal communities were exposed to three CO2 concentrations (380, 665, and 1486 µatm) to determine how the activity of two enzymes related to inorganic carbon uptake and nutrient assimilation in Corallina officinalis, an abundant calcifying rhodophyte, will be affected by elevated CO2 concentrations. The activity of external carbonic anhydrase, an important enzyme functioning in macroalgal carbon-concentrating mechanisms, was inversely related to CO2 concentration after long-term exposure (12 weeks). Nitrate reductase, the enzyme responsible for reduction of nitrate to nitrite, was stimulated by CO2 and was highest in algae grown at 665 µatm CO2. Nitrate and phosphate uptake rates were inversely related to CO2, while ammonium uptake was unaffected, and the percentage of inorganic carbon in the algal skeleton decreased with increasing CO2. The results indicate that the processes of inorganic carbon and nutrient uptake and assimilation are affected by elevated CO2 due to changes in enzyme activity, which change the energy balance and physiological status of C. officinalis, therefore affecting its competitive interactions with other macroalgae. The ecological implications of the physiological changes in C. officinalis in response to elevated CO2 are discussed.
Posts Tagged 'nutrient uptake'
Elevated CO2 levels affect the activity of nitrate reductase and carbonic anhydrase in the calcifying rhodophyte Corallina officinalisPublished 15 January 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, calcification, laboratory, mesocosms, North Atlantic, nutrient uptake, physiology
Seasonal coupling and de-coupling of net calcification rates from coral reef metabolism and carbonate chemistry at Ningaloo Reef, Western AustraliaPublished 11 June 2012 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, BRcommunity, calcification, corals, field, Indian ocean, light, multiple factors, nutrient uptake, otherprocees, primary production
Rates of net production, net calcification, and nutrient uptake were measured in a coral-dominated reef flat community on Ningaloo Reef in northwestern Australia under seasonally minimum and maximum light levels. Daily integrated light decreased twofold while water temperatures remained relatively constant increasing by only 1°C on average from summer to winter. Rates of daily community gross primary production (GPP) were only 33% ± 9% higher in summer than in winter (1400 ± 70 versus 1050 ± 60 mmol C m−2 d−1), far less than the twofold seasonal changes reported for most shallow reef communities. Rates of daily community net calcification (Gnet) were not significantly different between seasons (190 ± 40 mmol CaCO3 m−2 d−1 in summer versus 200 ± 10 mmol CaCO3 m−2 d−1 in winter). The average rate of total nitrogen uptake (dissolved + particulate) was also not significantly different between summer and winter (8.3 ± 3.8 versus 6.6 ± 3.4 mmol N m−2 d−1, respectively), despite evidence of sporadically high nitrate uptake in both seasons. In summer, rates of hourly net calcification (gnet) were linearly correlated with diurnal changes in net production, pH, and aragonite saturation state (Ωar); and were mostly correlated with light except at mid-day under heavy cloud cover. However, in winter, gnet was independent of diurnal changes in light, net production, pH, and Ωar indicating that the reef flat community had possibly reached a threshold above which rates of net calcification were insensitive to diurnal changes in their environment.