Spatiotemporal variability of dimethylsulphoniopropionate on a fringing coral reef: the role of reefal carbonate chemistry and environmental variability

Burdett, H. L., Donohue, P. J.C., Hatton, A. D., Alwany, M. A. and Kamenos, N. A. (2013) Spatiotemporal variability of dimethylsulphoniopropionate on a fringing coral reef: the role of reefal carbonate chemistry and environmental variability. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e64651. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064651) (PMID:23724073) (PMCID:PMC3665749)

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Abstract

Oceanic pH is projected to decrease by up to 0.5 units by 2100 (a process known as ocean acidification, OA), reducing the calcium carbonate saturation state of the oceans. The coastal ocean is expected to experience periods of even lower carbonate saturation state because of the inherent natural variability of coastal habitats. Thus, in order to accurately project the impact of OA on the coastal ocean, we must first understand its natural variability. The production of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) by marine algae and the release of DMSP’s breakdown product dimethylsulphide (DMS) are often related to environmental stress. This study investigated the spatiotemporal response of tropical macroalgae (Padina sp., Amphiroa sp. and Turbinaria sp.) and the overlying water column to natural changes in reefal carbonate chemistry. We compared macroalgal intracellular DMSP and water column DMSP+DMS concentrations between the environmentally stable reef crest and environmentally variable reef flat of the fringing Suleman Reef, Egypt, over 45-hour sampling periods. Similar diel patterns were observed throughout: maximum intracellular DMSP and water column DMS/P concentrations were observed at night, coinciding with the time of lowest carbonate saturation state. Spatially, water column DMS/P concentrations were highest over areas dominated by seagrass and macroalgae (dissolved DMS/P) and phytoplankton (particulate DMS/P) rather than corals. This research suggests that macroalgae may use DMSP to maintain metabolic function during periods of low carbonate saturation state. In the reef system, seagrass and macroalgae may be more important benthic producers of dissolved DMS/P than corals. An increase in DMS/P concentrations during periods of low carbonate saturation state may become ecologically important in the future under an OA regime, impacting larval settlement and increasing atmospheric emissions of DMS.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Dr Nicholas and Donohue, Miss Penelope and Burdett, Miss Heidi
Authors: Burdett, H. L., Donohue, P. J.C., Hatton, A. D., Alwany, M. A., and Kamenos, N. A.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH345 Biochemistry
Q Science > QK Botany
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 8(5):e64651
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
522851Doctoral Training GrantSusan WaldronNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/H525303/1SCHOOL OF GEOGRAPHICAL & EARTH SCIENCES