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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-352
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-352
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Sep 2016

Submitted as: research article | 06 Sep 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Responses of the diatom Asterionellopsis glacialis to increasing sea water CO2 concentrations and the effect of turbulence

Francesca Gallo1,2, Kai G. Schulz3, Eduardo B. Azevedo1,2, João Madruga2, and Joana Barcelos e Ramos1,2 Francesca Gallo et al.
  • 1Centre of Climate, Meteorology and Global Change (CMMG), University of Azores, Rua do Capitão d’Ávila, Pico da Urze 970-0042 Angra do Heroísmo, Açores, Portugal
  • 2Centre for Agricultural and Environmental Science and Technology of the Azores, University of Azores, Rua do Capitão d’Ávila, Pico da Urze 970-0042 Angra do Heroísmo, Açores, Portugal
  • 3Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry, School of Environmental Science and Management, Southern Cross University, P.O. Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia

Abstract. Emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), are lead to increasing global and surface ocean temperatures. At the same time, as CO2 equilibrates between the atmosphere and the surface ocean, it decreases sea water pH. As a result, the changes in physical and chemical properties of the ocean can affect marine primary producers in various ways. A number of researches have addressed the effects of ocean acidification on marine phytoplankton. However, phytoplankton responses to combined effects are still poorly understood. Here, we chose monospecific cultures of the cosmopolitan chain forming diatom Asterionellopsis glacialis (A. glacialis), grown semi-continuously under controlled laboratory conditions, to assess the combined effect of ocean acidification (~ 420 to 2800 µatm) and turbulence. At current CO2 levels, growth rates of A. glacialis increased under enhanced turbulence. This was the result of an optimum shift towards lower CO2 concentrations and accompanied by a prevalence of longer chains (more than 6 cells). For increasing CO2 levels (up to ~ 2800 µatm) and decreased pH values, enhanced turbulence significantly decreased growth rates, chain length and organic matter production of A. glacialis. Thus, our study suggests that, even though A. glacialis benefited from enhanced turbulence, at present carbon dioxide concentration, at higher CO2 levels, turbulence magnified the stress by acidification. If in the future, the ocean surface layer will be more frequently exposed to storm and wind events, then phytoplankton communities might be more sensitive to lower pH, with potential consequences for community composition and productivity.

Francesca Gallo et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Francesca Gallo et al.
Francesca Gallo et al.
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Short summary
Global change driven by humans activities may affect phytoplankton, which are important primary producers. Assessing the combined effect of turbulence and ocean acidification on the species Asterionellopsis glacialis, we found that turbulence magnifies the acidification stress, with negative effects on their growth. In the natural environment, this might have consequences to phytoplankton community composition and production with feedbacks to climate.
Global change driven by humans activities may affect phytoplankton, which are important primary...
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