The response of marine picoplankton to ocean acidification

Lindsay K Newbold, Anna E Oliver, Tim Booth, Bela Tiwari, Todd Desantis, Michael Maguire, Gary Andersen, Christopher J van der Gast, Andrew S Whiteley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2293-307
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Biodiversity
  • Carbon
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Eukaryota
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Phylogeny
  • Phytoplankton
  • Seawater

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