Low CO2 sensitivity of microzooplankton communities in the Gullmar Fjord, Skagerrak: evidence from a long-term mesocosm study

Horn, H. G., Sander, N., Stuhr, A., Algueró-Muñiz, M. , Bach, L. T., Löder, M. G. J., Boersma, M., Riebesell, U. and Aberle, N. (2016) Low CO2 sensitivity of microzooplankton communities in the Gullmar Fjord, Skagerrak: evidence from a long-term mesocosm study. PLoS ONE, 11(11), e0165800. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165800) (PMID:27893740) (PMCID:PMC5125589)

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Abstract

Ocean acidification is considered as a crucial stressor for marine communities. In this study, we tested the effects of the IPCC RPC6.0 end-of-century acidification scenario on a natural plankton community in the Gullmar Fjord, Sweden, during a long-term mesocosm experiment from a spring bloom to a mid-summer situation. The focus of this study was on microzooplankton and its interactions with phytoplankton and mesozooplankton. The microzooplankton community was dominated by ciliates, especially small Strombidium sp., with the exception of the last days when heterotrophic dinoflagellates increased in abundance. We did not observe any effects of high CO2 on the community composition and diversity of microzooplankton. While ciliate abundance, biomass and growth rate were not affected by elevated CO2, we observed a positive effect of elevated CO2 on dinoflagellate abundances. Additionally, growth rates of dinoflagellates were significantly higher in the high CO2 treatments. Given the higher Chlorophyll a content measured under high CO2, our results point at mainly indirect effects of CO2 on microzooplankton caused by changes in phytoplankton standing stocks, in this case most likely an increase in small-sized phytoplankton of <8 μm. Overall, the results from the present study covering the most important part of the growing season indicate that coastal microzooplankton communities are rather robust towards realistic acidification scenarios.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This study is part of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) funded “Verbundprojekt” BIOACID Phase II (Biological Impacts of Ocean ACIDification), consortium 1, WP 1.6 (03F0655B) and received funding from the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alguero-Muniz, Dr Maria
Authors: Horn, H. G., Sander, N., Stuhr, A., Algueró-Muñiz, M., Bach, L. T., Löder, M. G. J., Boersma, M., Riebesell, U., and Aberle, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Published Online:28 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Horn et al
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165800
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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