Since industrialization global CO(2) emissions have increased, and as a consequence oceanic pH is predicted to drop by 0.3-0.4 units before the end of the century - a process coined 'ocean acidification'. Consequently, there is significant interest in how pH changes will affect the ocean's biota and integral processes. We investigated marine picoplankton (0.2-2 µm diameter) community response to predicted end of century CO(2) concentrations, via a 'high-CO(2) ' (∼ 750 ppm) large-volume (11 000 l) contained seawater mesocosm approach. We found little evidence of changes occurring in bacterial abundance or community composition due to elevated CO(2) under both phytoplankton pre-bloom/bloom and post-bloom conditions. In contrast, significant differences were observed between treatments for a number of key picoeukaryote community members. These data suggested a key outcome of ocean acidification is a more rapid exploitation of elevated CO(2) levels by photosynthetic picoeukaryotes. Thus, our study indicates the need for a more thorough understanding of picoeukaryote-mediated carbon flow within ocean acidification experiments, both in relation to picoplankton carbon sources, sinks and transfer to higher trophic levels.
- Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
- Carbon Dioxide
- Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
- Oceans and Seas