Amelioration of ocean acidification and warming effects through physiological buffering of a macroalgae

Doo, Steve S., Leplastrier, Aero, Graba-Landry, Alexia, Harianto, Januar, Coleman, Ross A, and Byrne, Maria (2020) Amelioration of ocean acidification and warming effects through physiological buffering of a macroalgae. Ecology and Evolution, 10 (15). pp. 8465-8475.

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Concurrent anthropogenic global climate change and ocean acidification are expected to have a negative impact on calcifying marine organisms. While knowledge of biological responses of organisms to oceanic stress has emerged from single-species experiments, these do not capture ecologically relevant scenarios where the potential for multi-organism physiological interactions is assessed. Marine algae provide an interesting case study, as their photosynthetic activity elevates pH in the surrounding microenvironment, potentially buffering more acidic conditions for associated epiphytes. We present findings that indicate increased tolerance of an important epiphytic for aminifera, Marginopora vertebralis, to the effects of increased temperature (+/- 3 degrees C) and p CO2(similar to 1,000 mu atm) when associated with its common algal host, Laurencia intricata. Specimens of M. vertebralis were incubated for 15 days in flow-through aquaria simulating current and end-of-century temperature and pH conditions. Physiological measures of growth (change in wet weight), calcification (measured change in total alkalinity in closed bottles), photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), total chlorophyll, photosynthesis (oxygen flux), and respiration were determined. When incubated in isolation,M. vertebralis-exhibited reduced growth in end-of-century projections of ocean acidification conditions, while calcification rates were lowest in the high-temperature, low-pH treatment. Interestingly, association with L. intricata ameliorated these stress effects with the growth and calcification rates ofM. vertebralis being similar to those observed in ambient conditions. Total chlorophyll levels in M. vertebral is decreased when in association with L. intricata, while maximum photochemical efficiency increased in ambient conditions. Net production estimates remained similar between M. vertebralis in isolation and in association with L. intricata, although both production and respiration rates ofM. vertebralis were significantly higher when associated with L. intricata. These results indicate that the association with L. intricata increases the resilience ofM. vertebralis to climate change stress, providing one of the first examples of physiological buffering by a marine alga that can ameliorate the negative effects of changing ocean conditions.

Item ID: 64004
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Keywords: large benthic foraminifera, macroalgae, ocean acidification, ocean warming, physiological buffering, species interaction
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Ian Potter Foundation (IPF), Professional Association of Diving Instructors Foundation (PADI), Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS), Cushman Foundation (CF), Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), University of Sydney (US)
Projects and Grants: IPF Grant, Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship, Lizard Island Doctoral Fellowship, ACRS Student Award, GBRF Grant, US International Research Scholarship
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 07:48
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190504 Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts) @ 100%
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