Sensitivities to global change drivers may correlate positively or negatively in a foundational marine macroalga.
ABSTRACT: Ecological impact of global change is generated by multiple synchronous or asynchronous drivers which interact with each other and with intraspecific variability of sensitivities. In three near-natural experiments, we explored response correlations of full-sibling germling families of the seaweed Fucus vesiculosus towards four global change drivers: elevated CO2 (ocean acidification, OA), ocean warming (OW), combined OA and warming (OAW), nutrient enrichment and hypoxic upwelling. Among families, performance responses to OA and OW as well as to OAW and nutrient enrichment correlated positively whereas performance responses to OAW and hypoxia anti-correlated. This indicates (i) that families robust to one of the three drivers (OA, OW, nutrients) will also not suffer from the two other shifts, and vice versa and (ii) families benefitting from OAW will more easily succumb to hypoxia. Our results may imply that selection under either OA, OW or eutrophication would enhance performance under the other two drivers but simultaneously render the population more susceptible to hypoxia. We conclude that intraspecific response correlations have a high potential to boost or hinder adaptation to multifactorial global change scenarios.
Project description:Ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) are key features of global change and are predicted to have negative consequences for marine species and ecosystems. At a smaller scale increasing oil and gas activities at northern high latitudes could lead to greater risk of petroleum pollution, potentially exacerbating the effects of such global stressors. However, knowledge of combined effects is limited. This study employed a scenario-based, collapsed design to investigate the impact of one local acute stressor (North Sea crude oil) and two chronic global drivers (pH for OA and temperature for OW), alone or in combination on aspects of the biology of larval stages of two key invertebrates: the northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) and the green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis). Both local and global drivers had negative effects on survival, development and growth of the larval stages. These effects were species- and stage-dependent. No statistical interactions were observed between local and global drivers and the combined effects of the two drivers were approximately equal to the sum of their separate effects. This study highlights the importance of adjusting regulation associated with oil spill prevention to maximize the resilience of marine organisms to predicted future global conditions.
Project description:Ocean warming (OW), ocean acidification (OA) and their interaction with local drivers, e.g., copper pollution, may negatively affect macroalgae and their microscopic life stages. We evaluated meiospore development of the kelps Macrocystis pyrifera and Undaria pinnatifida exposed to a factorial combination of current and 2100-predicted temperature (12 and 16?°C, respectively), pH (8.16 and 7.65, respectively), and two copper levels (no-added-copper and species-specific germination Cu-EC50). Meiospore germination for both species declined by 5-18% under OA and ambient temperature/OA conditions, irrespective of copper exposure. Germling growth rate declined by >40%·day-1, and gametophyte development was inhibited under Cu-EC50 exposure, compared to the no-added-copper treatment, irrespective of pH and temperature. Following the removal of copper and 9-day recovery under respective pH and temperature treatments, germling growth rates increased by 8-18%·day-1. The exception was U. pinnatifida under OW/OA, where growth rate remained at 10%·day-1 before and after copper exposure. Copper-binding ligand concentrations were higher in copper-exposed cultures of both species, suggesting that ligands may act as a defence mechanism of kelp early life stages against copper toxicity. Our study demonstrated that copper pollution is more important than global climate drivers in controlling meiospore development in kelps as it disrupts the completion of their life cycle.
Project description:Human-assisted, trans-generational exposure to ocean warming and acidification has been proposed as a conservation and/or restoration tool to produce resilient offspring. To improve our understanding of the need for and the efficacy of this approach, we characterized life-history and physiological responses in offspring of the marine polychaete <i>Ophryotrocha labronica</i> exposed to predicted ocean warming (OW: + 3°C), ocean acidification (OA: pH -0.5) and their combination (OWA: + 3°C, pH -0.5), following the exposure of their parents to either control conditions (<i>within-generational exposure</i>) or the same conditions (<i>trans-generational exposure</i>). Trans-generational exposure to OW fully alleviated the negative effects of within-generational exposure to OW on fecundity and egg volume and was accompanied by increased metabolic activity. While within-generational exposure to OA reduced juvenile growth rates and egg volume, trans-generational exposure alleviated the former but could not restore the latter. Surprisingly, exposure to OWA had no negative impacts within- or trans-generationally. Our results highlight the potential for trans-generational laboratory experiments in producing offspring that are resilient to OW and OA. However, trans-generational exposure does not always appear to improve traits and therefore may not be a universally useful tool for all species in the face of global change.
Project description:Organisms that accumulate calcium carbonate structures are particularly vulnerable to ocean warming (OW) and ocean acidification (OA), potentially reducing the socioeconomic benefits of ecosystems reliant on these taxa. Since rising atmospheric CO2 is responsible for global warming and increasing ocean acidity, to correctly predict how OW and OA will affect marine organisms, their possible interactive effects must be assessed. Here we investigate, in the field, the combined temperature (range: 16-26?°C) and acidification (range: pHTS 8.1-7.4) effects on mortality and growth of Mediterranean coral species transplanted, in different seasonal periods, along a natural pH gradient generated by a CO2 vent. We show a synergistic adverse effect on mortality rates (up to 60%), for solitary and colonial, symbiotic and asymbiotic corals, suggesting that high seawater temperatures may have increased their metabolic rates which, in conjunction with decreasing pH, could have led to rapid deterioration of cellular processes and performance. The net calcification rate of the symbiotic species was not affected by decreasing pH, regardless of temperature, while in the two asymbiotic species it was negatively affected by increasing acidification and temperature, suggesting that symbiotic corals may be more tolerant to increasing warming and acidifying conditions compared to asymbiotic ones.
Project description:Mesocosm experiments have been fundamental to investigate the effects of elevated CO<sub>2</sub> and ocean acidification (OA) on planktic communities. However, few of these experiments have been conducted using naturally nutrient-limited waters and/or considering the combined effects of OA and ocean warming (OW). Coccolithophores are a group of calcifying phytoplankton that can reach high abundances in the Mediterranean Sea, and whose responses to OA are modulated by temperature and nutrients. We present the results of the first land-based mesocosm experiment testing the effects of combined OA and OW on an oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean coccolithophore community. Coccolithophore cell abundance drastically decreased under OW and combined OA and OW (greenhouse, GH) conditions. Emiliania huxleyi calcite mass decreased consistently only in the GH treatment; moreover, anomalous calcifications (i.e. coccolith malformations) were particularly common in the perturbed treatments, especially under OA. Overall, these data suggest that the projected increase in sea surface temperatures, including marine heatwaves, will cause rapid changes in Eastern Mediterranean coccolithophore communities, and that these effects will be exacerbated by OA.
Project description:The ecologically important thecosome pteropods in the Limacina spp. complex have recently been the focus of studies examining the impacts global change factors - e.g., ocean acidification (OA) and ocean warming (OW) - on their performance and physiology. This focus is driven by conservation concerns where the health of pteropod populations is threatened by the high susceptibility of their shells to dissolution in low aragonite saturation states associated with OA and how coupling of these stressors may push pteropods past the limits of physiological plasticity. In this manipulation experiment, we describe changes in the transcriptome of the Antarctic pteropod, Limacina helicina antarctica, to these combined stressors. The conditions used in the laboratory treatments met or exceeded those projected for the Southern Ocean by the year 2100. We made two general observations regarding the outcome of the data: (1) Temperature was more influential than pH in terms of changing patterns of gene expression, and (2) these Antarctic pteropods appeared to have a significant degree of transcriptomic plasticity to respond to acute abiotic stress in the laboratory. In general, differential gene expression was observed amongst the treatments; here, for example, transcripts associated with maintaining protein structure and cell proliferation were up-regulated. To disentangle the effects of OA and OW, we used a weighted gene co-expression network analysis to explore patterns of change in the transcriptome. This approach identified gene networks associated with OW that were enriched for transcripts proposed to be involved in increasing membrane fluidity at warmer temperatures. Together these data provide evidence that L.h.antarctica has a limited capacity to acclimate to the combined conditions of OA and OW used in this study. This reduced scope of acclimation argues for continued study of how adaptation to polar aquatic environments may limit the plasticity of present-day populations in responding to future environmental change.
Project description:Environmentally-induced changes in fitness are mediated by direct effects on physiology and behaviour, which are tightly linked. We investigated how predicted ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) affect key ecological behaviours (locomotion speed and foraging success) and metabolic rate of a keystone marine mollusc, the sea hare Stylocheilus striatus, a specialist grazer of the toxic cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula. We acclimated sea hares to OW and/or OA across three developmental stages (metamorphic, juvenile, and adult) or as adults only, and compare these to sea hares maintained under current-day conditions. Generally, locomotion speed and time to locate food were reduced ~1.5- to 2-fold when the stressors (OW or OA) were experienced in isolation, but reduced ~3-fold when combined. Decision-making was also severely altered, with correct foraging choice nearly 40% lower under combined stressors. Metabolic rate appeared to acclimate to the stressors in isolation, but was significantly elevated under combined stressors. Overall, sea hares that developed under OW and/or OA exhibited a less severe impact, indicating beneficial phenotypic plasticity. Reduced foraging success coupled with increased metabolic demands may impact fitness in this species and highlight potentially large ecological consequences under unabated OW and OA, namely in regulating toxic cyanobacteria blooms on coral reefs.
Project description:Anthropogenic emission of CO<sub>2</sub> into the atmosphere has been increasing exponentially, causing ocean acidification (OA) and ocean warming (OW). The "business-as-usual" scenario predicts that the atmospheric concentration of CO<sub>2</sub> may exceed 1,000 µatm and seawater temperature may increase by up to 3 °C by the end of the 21<sup>st</sup> century. Increases in OA and OW may negatively affect the growth and survival of reef corals. In the present study, we separately examined the effects of OW and OA on the corals <i>Acropora digitifera</i> and <i>Montipora digitata</i>, which are dominant coral species occurring along the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan, at three temperatures (28 °C, 30 °C, and 32 °C) and following four pCO<sub>2</sub> treatments (400, 600, 800, and 1,000 µatm) in aquarium experiments. In the OW experiment, the calcification rate (<i>p</i> = 0.02), endosymbiont density, and maximum photosynthetic efficiency (<i>Fv/Fm</i>) (both <i>p</i> < 0.0001) decreased significantly at the highest temperature (32 °C) compared to those at the lower temperatures (28 °C and 30 °C) in both species. In the OA experiment, the calcification rate decreased significantly as pCO<sub>2</sub> increased (<i>p</i> < 0.0001), whereas endosymbiont density, chlorophyll content, and <i>Fv/Fm</i> were not affected. The calcification rate of <i>A. digitifera</i> showed greater decreases from 30 °C to 32 °C than that of <i>M. digitata</i>. The calcification of the two species responded differently to OW and OA. These results suggest that <i>A. digitifera</i> is more sensitive to OW than <i>M. digitata</i>, whereas <i>M. digitata</i> is more sensitive to OA. Thus, differences in the sensitivity of the two coral species to OW and OA might be attributed to differences in the endosymbiont species and high calcification rates, respectively.
Project description:Ocean acidification and warming (OAW) are occurring globally. Additionally, at a more local scale the spreading of hypoxic conditions is promoted by eutrophication and warming. In the semi-enclosed brackish Baltic Sea, occasional upwelling in late summer and autumn may expose even shallow-water communities including the macroalga Fucus vesiculosus to particularly acidified, nutrient-rich and oxygen-poor water bodies. During summer 2014 (July-September) sibling groups of early life-stage F. vesiculosus were exposed to OAW in the presence and absence of enhanced nutrient levels and, subsequently to a single upwelling event in a near-natural scenario which included all environmental fluctuations in the Kiel Fjord, southwestern Baltic Sea, Germany (54°27 ´N, 10°11 ´W). We strove to elucidate the single and combined impacts of these potential stressors, and how stress sensitivity varies among genetically different sibling groups. Enhanced by a circumstantial natural heat wave, warming and acidification increased mortalities and reduced growth in F. vesiculosus germlings. This impact, however, was mitigated by enhanced nutrient conditions. Survival under OAW conditions strongly varied among sibling groups hinting at a substantial adaptive potential of the natural Fucus populations in the Western Baltic. A three-day experimental upwelling caused severe mortality of Fucus germlings, which was substantially more severe in those sibling groups which previously had been exposed to OAW. Our results show that global (OAW), regional (nutrient enrichment) and local pressures (upwelling), both alone and co-occurring may have synergistic and antagonistic effects on survival and/or growth of Fucus germlings. This result emphasizes the need to consider combined stress effects.
Project description:Cleaning interactions are textbook examples of mutualisms. On coral reefs, most fishes engage in cooperative interactions with cleaners fishes, where they benefit from ectoparasite reduction and ultimately stress relief. Furthermore, such interactions elicit beneficial effects on clients' ecophysiology. However, the potential effects of future ocean warming (OW) and acidification (OA) on these charismatic associations are unknown. Here we show that a 45-day acclimation period to OW (+3 °C) and OA (980 μatm pCO2) decreased interactions between cleaner wrasses (Labroides dimidiatus) and clients (Naso elegans). Cleaners also invested more in the interactions by providing tactile stimulation under OA. Although this form of investment is typically used by cleaners to prolong interactions and reconcile after cheating, interaction time and client jolt rate (a correlate of dishonesty) were not affected by any stressor. In both partners, the dopaminergic (in all brain regions) and serotoninergic (forebrain) systems were significantly altered by these stressors. On the other hand, in cleaners, the interaction with warming ameliorated dopaminergic and serotonergic responses to OA. Dopamine and serotonin correlated positively with motivation to interact and cleaners interaction investment (tactile stimulation). We advocate that such neurobiological changes associated with cleaning behaviour may affect the maintenance of community structures on coral reefs.