Effects of acute ocean acidification on spatially-diverse polar pelagic foodwebs: Insights from on-deck microcosms

Tarling, G. A., Peck, V., Ward, P., Ensor, N. S., Achterberg, Eric P., Tynan, E., Poulton, A. J., Mitchell, E. and Zubkov, M. V. (2016) Effects of acute ocean acidification on spatially-diverse polar pelagic foodwebs: Insights from on-deck microcosms Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 127 . pp. 75-92. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.02.008.

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Abstract

The polar oceans are experiencing some of the largest levels of ocean acidification (OA) resulting from the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Our understanding of the impacts this is having on polar marine communities is mainly derived from studies of single species in laboratory conditions, while the consequences for food web interactions remain largely unknown. This study carried out experimental manipulations of natural pelagic communities at different high latitude sites in both the northern (Nordic Seas) and southern hemispheres (Scotia and Weddell Seas). The aim of this study was to identify more generic responses and achieve greater experimental reproducibility through implementing a series of short term (4 d), multilevel (3 treatment) carbonate chemistry manipulation experiments on unfiltered natural surface-ocean communities, including grazing copepods. The experiments were successfully executed at six different sites, covering a diverse range of environmental conditions and differing plankton community compositions. The study identified the interaction between copepods and dinoflagellate cell abundance to be significantly altered by elevated levels of dissolved CO2 (pCO(2)), with dinoflagellates decreasing relative to ambient conditions across all six experiments. A similar pattern was not observed in any other major phytoplankton group. The patterns indicate that copepods show a stronger preference for dinoflagellates when in elevated pCO(2) conditions, demonstrating that changes in food quality and altered grazing selectivity may be a major consequence of ocean acidification. The study also found that transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP) generally increased when pCO(2) levels were elevated, but the response was dependent on the exact set of environmental conditions. Bacteria and nannoplankton showed a neutral response to elevated pCO(2) and there was no significant relationship between changes in bacterial or nannoplanlcton abundance and that of TEP concentrations. Overall, the study illustrated that, although some similar responses exist, these contrasting high latitude surface ocean communities are likely to show different responses to the onset of elevated pCO(2).

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Supplementary data to this article can be found online at http://dx.doi.org10.1016j.tecto.2016.06.024. - WOS:000376545500008
Keywords: Arctic; Southern Ocean; Copepod; Phytoplankton; Dinoflagellates; Bacteria; Nannoplankton; Transparent exopolymeric particles; PCO2; RRS James Clark Ross; JR271; JR274
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.02.008
ISSN: 0967-0645
Projects: Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models:
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 11:28
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:47
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/33269

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