The anthropogenic increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) alters the seawater carbonate chemistry, with a decline of pH and an increase in the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). Although bacteria play a major role in carbon cycling, little is known about the impact of rising pCO2 on bacterial carbon metabolism, especially for natural bacterial communities. In this study, we investigated the effect of rising pCO2 on bacterial production (BP), bacterial respiration (BR) and bacterial carbon metabolism during a mesocosm experiment performed in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard) in 2010. Nine mesocosms with pCO2 levels ranging from ca. 180 to 1400 μatm were deployed in the fjord and monitored for 30 days. Generally BP gradually decreased in all mesocosms in an initial phase, showed a large (3.6-fold average) but temporary increase on day 10, and increased slightly after inorganic nutrient addition. Over the wide range of pCO2 investigated, the patterns in BP and growth rate of bulk and free-living communities were generally similar over time. However, BP of the bulk community significantly decreased with increasing pCO2 after nutrient addition (day 14). In addition, increasing pCO2 enhanced the leucine to thymidine (Leu : TdR) ratio at the end of experiment, suggesting that pCO2 may alter the growth balance of bacteria. Stepwise multiple regression analysis suggests that multiple factors, including pCO2, explained the changes of BP, growth rate and Leu : TdR ratio at the end of the experiment. In contrast to BP, no clear trend and effect of changes of pCO2 was observed for BR, bacterial carbon demand and bacterial growth efficiency. Overall, the results suggest that changes in pCO2 potentially influence bacterial production, growth rate and growth balance rather than the conversion of dissolved organic matter into CO2.
Posts Tagged 'primary production'
Tags: Arctic, biogeochemistry, biological response, field, mesocosms, primary production, prokaryotes, respiration
Dynamics of seawater carbonate chemistry, production, and calcification of a coral reef flat, Central Great Barrier ReefPublished 3 May 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: calcification, chemistry, community, corals, field, primary production, South Pacific
Ocean acidification is projected to shift coral reefs from a state of net accretion to one of net dissolution this century. Presently, our ability to predict global-scale changes to coral reef calcification is limited by insufficient data relating seawater carbonate chemistry parameters to in situ rates of reef calcification. Here, we investigate natural trends in carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat in the central Great Barrier Reef on diel and seasonal timescales and relate these trends to benthic carbon fluxes by quantifying net ecosystem calcification (nec) and net community production (ncp). Results show that seawater carbonate chemistry of the Davies Reef flat is highly variable over both diel and seasonal timescales. pH (total scale) ranged from 7.92 to 8.17, pCO2 ranged from 272 to 542 μatm, and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) ranged from 2.9 to 4.1. Diel cycles in carbonate chemistry were primarily driven by ncp, and warming explained 35% and 47% of the seasonal shifts in pCO2 and pH, respectively. Daytime ncp averaged 36 ± 19 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and 33 ± 13 mmol C m−2 h−1 in winter; nighttime ncp averaged −22 ± 20 and −7 ± 6 mmol C m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Daytime nec averaged 11 ± 4 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and 8 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in winter, whereas nighttime nec averaged 2 ± 4 mmol and −1 ± 3 mmol CaCO3 m−2 h−1 in summer and winter, respectively. Net ecosystem calcification was positively correlated with Ωarag for both seasons. Linear correlations of nec and Ωarag indicate that the Davies Reef flat may transition from a state of net calcification to net dissolution at Ωarag values of 3.4 in summer and 3.2 in winter. Diel trends in Ωarag indicate that the reef flat is currently below this calcification threshold 29.6% of the time in summer and 14.1% of the time in winter.
Tags: algae, biological response, community, communitymodeling, grazing, mesocosms, modeling, morphology, multiple factors, North Atlantic, phanerogams, primary production, protists, temperature
It is well known that ocean acidification can have profound impacts on marine organisms. However, we know little about the direct and indirect effects of ocean acidification and also how these effects interact with other features of environmental change such as warming and declining consumer pressure. In this study, we tested whether the presence of consumers (invertebrate mesograzers) influenced the interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on benthic microalgae in a seagrass community mesocosm experiment. Net effects of acidification and warming on benthic microalgal biomass and production, as assessed by analysis of variance, were relatively weak regardless of grazer presence. However, partitioning these net effects into direct and indirect effects using structural equation modeling revealed several strong relationships. In the absence of grazers, benthic microalgae were negatively and indirectly affected by sediment-associated microalgal grazers and macroalgal shading, but directly and positively affected by acidification and warming. Combining indirect and direct effects yielded no or weak net effects. In the presence of grazers, almost all direct and indirect climate effects were nonsignificant. Our analyses highlight that (i) indirect effects of climate change may be at least as strong as direct effects, (ii) grazers are crucial in mediating these effects, and (iii) effects of ocean acidification may be apparent only through indirect effects and in combination with other variables (e.g., warming). These findings highlight the importance of experimental designs and statistical analyses that allow us to separate and quantify the direct and indirect effects of multiple climate variables on natural communities.
Production and carbonate dynamics of Halimeda incrassata (Ellis) Lamouroux altered by Thalassia testudinum Banks and Soland ex KönigPublished 17 April 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, calcification, chemistry, field, North Atlantic, photosynthesis, primary production
Ocean acidification poses a serious threat to a broad suite of calcifying organisms. Scleractinian corals and calcareous algae that occupy shallow, tropical waters are vulnerable to global changes in ocean chemistry because they already are subject to stressful and variable carbon dynamics at the local scale. For example, net heterotrophy increases carbon dioxide concentrations, and pH varies with diurnal fluctuations in photosynthesis and respiration. Few researchers, however, have investigated the possibility that carbon dioxide consumption during photosynthesis by non-calcifying photoautotrophs, such as seagrasses, can ameliorate deleterious effects of ocean acidification on sympatric calcareous algae. Naturally occurring variations in the density of seagrasses and associated calcareous algae provide an ecologically relevant test of the hypothesis that diel fluctuations in water chemistry driven by cycles of photosynthesis and respiration within seagrass beds create microenvironments that enhance macroalgal calcification. In Grape Tree Bay off Little Cayman Island BWI, we quantified net production and characterized calcification for thalli of the calcareous green alga Halimeda incrassata growing within beds of Thalassia testudinum with varying shoot densities. Results indicated that individual H. incrassata thalli were ~ 6% more calcified in dense seagrass beds. On an areal basis, however, far more calcium carbonate was produced by H. incrassata in areas where seagrasses were less dense due to higher rates of production. In addition, diel pH regimes in vegetated and unvegetated areas within the lagoon were not significantly different, suggesting a high degree of water exchange and mixing throughout the lagoon. These results suggest that, especially in well-mixed lagoons, carbonate production by calcareous algae may be more related to biotic interactions between seagrasses and calcareous algae than to seagrass-mediated changes in local water chemistry.
MEDUSA-2.0: an intermediate complexity biogeochemical model of the marine carbon cycle for climate change and ocean acidification studiesPublished 12 March 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biogeochemistry, chemistry, global, methods, modeling, primary production
MEDUSA-1.0 (Model of Ecosystem Dynamics, nutrient Utilisation, Sequestration and Acidification) was developed as an “intermediate complexity” plankton ecosystem model to study the biogeochemical response, and especially that of the so-called “biological pump”, to anthropogenically-driven change in the World Ocean (Yool et al., 2011). The base currency in this model was nitrogen from which fluxes of organic carbon, including export to the deep ocean, were calculated by invoking fixed C:N ratios in phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus. Since the beginning of the industrial era, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has significantly increased above its natural, inter-glacial background concentration. Simulating and predicting the carbon cycle in the ocean in its entirety, including ventilation of CO2 with the atmosphere and the resulting impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems, therefore requires that both organic and inorganic carbon be afforded a full representation in the model specification. Here, we introduce MEDUSA-2.0, an expanded successor model which includes additional state variables for dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen and detritus carbon (permitting variable C:N in exported organic matter), as well as a simple benthic formulation and extended parameterisations of phytoplankton growth, calcification and detritus remineralisation. A full description of MEDUSA-2.0, including its additional functionality, is provided and a multi-decadal hindcast simulation described (1860–2005), to evaluate the biogeochemical performance of the model.
Enhancement of photosynthetic carbon assimilation efficiency of phytoplankton assemblage in the future coastal oceanPublished 8 March 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, field, mesocosms, morphology, multiple factors, North Pacific, photosynthesis, phytoplankton, primary production, temperature
A mesocosm experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of future climate conditions on photosynthesis and productivity of coastal phytoplankton. Natural phytoplankton assemblages were incubated in field mesocosms under the ambient condition (present condition: ca. 400 ppmv CO2 and ambient temp.), and two future climate conditions (acidification condition: ca. 900 ppmv CO2 and ambient temp.; greenhouse condition: ca. 900 ppmv CO2 and 3 °C warmer than ambient). Photosynthetic parameters of steady-state light responses curves (LCs; measured by PAM fluorometer) and photosynthesis–irradiance curves (P–I curves; estimated by in situ incorporation of 14C) were compared to three conditions during the experiment period. Under acidification, electron transport efficiency (αLC) and photosynthetic 14C assimilation efficiency (α) were 10% higher than those of the present condition, but maximum rates of relative electron transport (rETRm,LC) and photosynthetic 14C assimilation (PBmax) were lower than the present condition by about 19% and 7%, respectively. In addition, rETRm,LC and αLC were not significantly different between and greenhouse conditions, but PBmax and α of greenhouse conditions were higher than those of the present condition by about 9% and 30%, respectively. In particular, the greenhouse condition has drastically higher PBmax and α than the present condition more than 60% during the post-bloom period. According to these results, two future ocean conditions have major positive effects on the photosynthesis in terms of energy utilization efficiency for organic carbon fixation through the inorganic carbon assimilation. Despite phytoplankton taking an advantage on photosynthesis, primary production of phytoplankton was not stimulated by future conditions. In particular, biomass of phytoplankton was depressed under both acidification and greenhouse conditions after the the pre-bloom period, and more research is required to suggest that some factors such as grazing activity could be important for regulating phytoplankton bloom in the future ocean.
Tags: Arctic Ocean, biogeochemistry, community, field, mesocosms, phytoplankton, primary production, zooplankton
Responses to ocean acidification in plankton communities were studied during a CO2-enrichment experiment in the Arctic Ocean, accomplished from June to July 2010 in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (78°56′ 2′′ N, 11°53′ 6′′ E). Enclosed in 9 mesocosms (volume: 43.9–47.6 m3), plankton was exposed to CO2 concentrations, ranging from glacial to projected mid-next-century levels. Fertilization with inorganic nutrients at day 13 of the experiment supported the accumulation of phytoplankton biomass, as indicated by two periods of high chl a concentration.
This study tested for CO2 sensitivities in primary production (PP) of particulate organic carbon (PPPOC) and of dissolved organic carbon (PPDOC). Therefore, 14C-bottle incubations (24 h) of mesocosm samples were performed at 1 m depth receiving about 60% of incoming radiation. PP for all mesocosms averaged 8.06 ± 3.64 μmol C L−1 d−1 and was slightly higher than in the outside fjord system. Comparison between mesocosms revealed significantly higher PPPOC at elevated compared to low pCO2 after nutrient addition. PPDOC was significantly higher in CO2-enriched mesocosms before as well as after nutrient addition, suggesting that CO2 had a direct influence on DOC production. DOC concentrations inside the mesocosms increased before nutrient addition and more in high CO2 mesocosms. After addition of nutrients, however, further DOC accumulation was negligible and not significantly different between treatments, indicating rapid utilization of freshly produced DOC. Bacterial biomass production (BP) was coupled to PP in all treatments, indicating that 3.5 ± 1.9% of PP or 21.6 ± 12.5% of PPDOC provided on average sufficient carbon for synthesis of bacterial biomass. During the later course of the bloom, the response of 14C-based PP rates to CO2 enrichment differed from net community production (NCP) rates that were also determined during this mesocosm campaign. We conclude that the enhanced release of labile DOC during autotrophic production at high CO2 exceedingly stimulated activities of heterotrophic microorganisms. As a consequence, increased PP induced less NCP, as suggested earlier for carbon-limited microbial systems in the Arctic.
Tags: abundance, biological response, field, phanerogams, primary production, respiration, South Pacific
While carbon capture and storage (CCS) is increasingly recognised as technologically possible, recent evidence from deep-sea CCS activities suggests that leakage from reservoirs may result in highly CO2 impacted biological communities. In contrast, shallow marine waters have higher primary productivity which may partially mitigate this leakage. We used natural CO2 seeps in shallow marine waters to assess if increased benthic primary productivity could capture and store CO2 leakage in areas targeted for CCS. We found that the productivity of seagrass communities (in situ, using natural CO2 seeps) and two individual species (ex situ, Cymodocea serrulata and Halophila ovalis) increased with CO2 concentration, but only species with dense belowground biomass increased in abundance (e.g. C. serrulata). Importantly, the ratio of below:above ground biomass of seagrass communities increased fivefold, making seagrass good candidates to partially mitigate CO2 leakage from sub-seabed reservoirs, since they form carbon sinks that can be buried for millennia.
Tags: biological response, chemistry, community, global, modeling, multiple factors, oxygen, phytoplankton, primary production, temperature
Ocean ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced changes of their physical, chemical and biological environment. Among these changes, warming, acidification, deoxygenation and changes in primary productivity by marine phytoplankton can be considered as four of the major stressors of open ocean ecosystems. Due to rising atmospheric CO2 in the coming decades, these changes will be amplified. Here, we use the most recent simulations performed in the framework of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 to assess how these stressors may evolve over the course of the 21st century. The 10 Earth System Models used here project similar trends in ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and reduced primary productivity for each of the IPCC’s representative concentration parthways (RCP) over the 21st century. For the “business-as-usual” scenario RCP8.5, the model-mean changes in 2090s (compared to 1990s) for sea surface temperature, sea surface pH, global O2 content and integrated primary productivity amount to +2.73 °C, −0.33 pH unit, −3.45% and −8.6%, respectively. For the high mitigation scenario RCP2.6, corresponding changes are +0.71 °C, −0.07 pH unit, −1.81% and −2.0% respectively, illustrating the effectiveness of extreme mitigation strategies. Although these stressors operate globally, they display distinct regional patterns. Large decreases in O2 and in pH are simulated in global ocean intermediate and mode waters, whereas large reductions in primary production are simulated in the tropics and in the North Atlantic. Although temperature and pH projections are robust across models, the same does not hold for projections of sub-surface O2 concentrations in the tropics and global and regional changes in net primary productivity.
Effects of pCO2 on physiology and skeletal mineralogy in a tidal pool coralline alga Corallina elongataPublished 26 February 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, calcification, laboratory, morphology, North Atlantic, physiology, primary production, respiration
Marine organisms inhabiting environments where pCO2/pH varies naturally are suggested to be relatively resilient to future ocean acidification. To test this hypothesis, the effect of elevated pCO2 was investigated in the articulated coralline red alga Corallina elongata from an intertidal rock pool on the north coast of Brittany (France), where pCO2 naturally varied daily between 70 and 1000 μatm. Metabolism was measured on algae in the laboratory after they had been grown for 3 weeks at pCO2 concentrations of 380, 550, 750 and 1000 μatm. Net and gross primary production, respiration and calcification rates were assessed by measurements of oxygen and total alkalinity fluxes using incubation chambers in the light and dark. Calcite mol % Mg/Ca (mMg/Ca) was analysed in the tips, branches and basal parts of the fronds, as well as in new skeletal structures produced by the algae in the different pCO2 treatments. Respiration, gross primary production and calcification in light and dark were not significantly affected by increased pCO2. Algae grown under elevated pCO2 (550, 750 and 1000 μatm) formed fewer new structures and produced calcite with a lower mMg/Ca ratio relative to those grown under 380 μatm. This study supports the assumption that C. elongata from a tidal pool, where pCO2 fluctuates over diel and seasonal cycles, is relatively robust to elevated pCO2 compared to other recently investigated coralline algae.