How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

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A Brown Macroalgae that Benefits from Ocean Acidification and Warming

Paper Reviewed
Celis-Plá, P.S.M., Mariínez, B., Korbee, N., Hall-Spencer, J.M. and Figueroa, F.L. 2017. Photoprotective responses in a brown macroalgae Cystoseira tamariscifolia to increases in CO2 and temperature. Marine Environmental Research 130: 157-165.

Addressing the topic of ocean acidification, Celis-Plá et al. (2017) investigated the interactive effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on the brown macroalgae Cystoseira tamariscifolia. In doing so, they collected specimens from both ultraoligotrophic (conditions of high irradiance and limited nutrients) and oligotrophic (moderate irradiance and nutrient conditions) coastal waters in the Mediterranean Sea.

The macroalgae samples were incubated in outdoor mesocosms under similar nutrient conditions and then subjected to one of two temperature (ambient or ambient +4°C) and CO2 (~475 or ~1270 µatm) regimes for a period of 28 days. At weekly intervals during the experiment, the authors conducted a series of measurements to determine the species' photophysiological responses under the varying treatment conditions.

In reporting their findings, Celis-Plá et al. state that "elevated CO2 allowed C. tamariscifolia to up-regulate both photosynthetic yields and the production of photoprotective compounds," demonstrating that "ocean acidification can interact with temperature and have beneficial effects on the accumulation of photoprotective carotenoids, as well as [stimulate] algal photosynthesis." Consequently, they conclude that "C.tamariscifolia is able to benefit from an increase in pCO2 levels."

Posted 23 May 2018