Community-level sensitivity of a calcifying ecosystem to acute in situ CO2 enrichment

Heidi Burdett, Gabriela Perna, Lucy McKay, Gemma Broomhead, Nicholas A. Kamenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The rate of change in ocean carbonate chemistry is a vital determinant in the magnitude of impacts observed. Benthic marine ecosystems are facing an increasing risk of acute CO2 exposure, that may be natural or anthropogenically-derived (e.g. engineering and industrial activities). However, our understanding of how acute CO2 events impact marine life is restricted to individual organisms, with little understanding for how this manifests at the community level. Here, we investigated, in situ, the effect of acute CO2 enrichment on the coralline algal ecosystem - a globally ubiquitous, ecologically and economically important habitat, but one which is likely to be sensitive to CO2 enrichment due to its highly calcified reef-like structures engineered by coralline algae. Most notably, we observed a rapid community-level shift to favour net dissolution rather than net calcification. Smaller changes from net respiration to net photosynthesis were also observed. There was no effect on the net flux of dimethylsulphide / dimethylsulphoniopropionate (algal secondary metabolites), nor the nutrients nitrate and phosphate. Following return to ambient CO2 levels, only a partial recovery was seen within the monitoring timeframe. This study highlights the sensitivity of biogenic carbonate marine communities to acute CO2 enrichment, and raises concerns over the capacity for the system to ‘bounce back’ if subjected to repeated acute high-CO2 events.
LanguageEnglish
Pages73-80
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume587
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

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ecosystem
carbonate
dimethylsulfide
coralline alga
dimethylsulfoniopropionate
calcification
secondary metabolite
marine ecosystem
photosynthesis
respiration
reef
dissolution
phosphate
nitrate
engineering
nutrient
ocean
habitat
monitoring
in situ

Cite this

Burdett, Heidi ; Perna, Gabriela ; McKay, Lucy ; Broomhead, Gemma ; Kamenos, Nicholas A. / Community-level sensitivity of a calcifying ecosystem to acute in situ CO2 enrichment. In: Marine Ecology Progress Series. 2018 ; Vol. 587. pp. 73-80.
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Community-level sensitivity of a calcifying ecosystem to acute in situ CO2 enrichment. / Burdett, Heidi; Perna, Gabriela; McKay, Lucy; Broomhead, Gemma; Kamenos, Nicholas A.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 587, 25.01.2018, p. 73-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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