Ocean acidification induces distinct metabolic responses in subtropical zooplankton under oligotrophic conditions and after simulated upwelling

Osma, N. et al. (2022) Ocean acidification induces distinct metabolic responses in subtropical zooplankton under oligotrophic conditions and after simulated upwelling. Science of the Total Environment, 810, 152252. (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152252) (PMID:34896493)

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Ocean acidification (OA) is one of the most critical anthropogenic threats to marine ecosystems. While significant ecological responses of plankton communities to OA have been revealed mainly by small-scale laboratory approaches, the interactive effect of OA-related changes on zooplankton metabolism and their biogeochemical implications in the natural environment still remains less well understood. Here, we explore the responses of zooplankton respiration and ammonium excretion, two key processes in the nutrient cycling, to high pCO2 levels in a 9-week in situ mesocosm experiment conducted during the autumn oligotrophic season in the subtropical northeast Atlantic. By simulating an upwelling event halfway through the study, we further evaluated the combined effects of OA and nutrient availability on the physiology of micro-and mesozooplankton. OA conditions generally resulted in a reduction in the biomass-specific metabolic and enzymatic rates, particularly in the mesozooplankton community. The situation reversed after the nutrient-rich deep-water addition, which initially promoted a diatom bloom and increased heterotrophic activities in all mesocosms. Under high pCO2 conditions (>800 μatm), however, the nutrient fertilization triggered the proliferation of the harmful alga Vicicitus globosus, with important consequences for the metabolic performance of the two zooplankton size classes. Here, the zooplankton contribution to the remineralization of organic matter and nitrogen regeneration dropped by 30% and 24%, respectively, during the oligotrophic period, and by 40% and 70% during simulated upwelling. Overall, our results indicate a potential reduction in the biogeochemical role of zooplankton under future ocean conditions, with more evident effects on the large mesozooplankton and during high productivity events.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded this project in the framework of the coordinated project BIOACID-Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification, phase 2 (FKZ 03F06550). N.O., I. F.-U. and C.A.V. received financial support from FONDECYT (ANID) research programs 3190365, 3180352 and 1170065, respectively, during the writing process. U.R. received additional funding from the Leibniz Award 2012 by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alguero-Muniz, Dr Maria
Creator Roles:
Alguero-Muniz, M.Data curation, Investigation
Authors: Osma, N., Vargas, C. A., Alguero-Muniz, M., Bach, L. T., Gómez, M., Horn, H. G., Ludwig, A., Packard, T. T., Riebesell, U., Romero-Kutzner, V., Taucher, J., and Fernández-Urruzola, I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Science of the Total Environment
ISSN (Online):1879-1026
Published Online:10 December 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Science of the Total Environment 810:152252
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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