Reduced growth with increased quotas of particulate organic and inorganic carbon in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi under future ocean climate change conditions

Yong Zhang, Sinéad Collins, Kunshan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Effects of ocean acidification and warming on marine primary producers can be modulated by other environmental factors, such as levels of nutrients and light. Here, we investigated the interactive effects of five oceanic environmental drivers (CO2, temperature, light, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate) on the growth rate, particulate organic carbon (POC) and particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) quotas of the cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. The population growth rate increased with increasing temperature (16 to 20 ∘C) and light intensities (60 to 240 µmolphotonsm−2s−1) but decreased with elevated pCO2 concentrations (370 to 960 µatm) and reduced availability of nitrate (24.3 to 7.8 µmol L−1) and phosphate (1.5 to 0.5 µmol L−1). POC quotas were predominantly enhanced by the combined effects of increased pCO2 and decreased availability of phosphate. PIC quotas increased with decreased availability of nitrate and phosphate. Our results show that concurrent changes in nutrient concentrations and pCO2 levels predominantly affected the growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification of E. huxleyi and imply that plastic responses to progressive ocean acidification, warming, and decreasing availability of nitrate and phosphate reduce the population growth rate while increasing cellular quotas of particulate organic and inorganic carbon of E. huxleyi, ultimately affecting coccolithophore-related ecological and biogeochemical processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6357-6375
Number of pages19
JournalBiogeosciences
Volume17
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • CO2
  • coccolithophore
  • functional trait plasticity
  • light
  • multiple drivers
  • nutritents
  • ocean acidification
  • warming

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