Seawater carbonate chemistry, pigments and biological processes during experiments with coralline alga Corallina sessilis

2019-11-22T14:13:16Z (GMT) by Kunshan Gao Y Zheng
Previous studies have shown that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect calcification in some planktonic and macroalgal calcifiers due to the changed carbonate chemistry of seawater. However, little is known regarding how calcifying algae respond to solar UV radiation (UVR, UVA+UVB, 280-400 nm). UVR may act synergistically, antagonistically or independently with ocean acidification (high CO2/low pH of seawater) to affect their calcification processes. We cultured the articulated coralline alga Corallina sessilis Yendo at 380 ppmv (low) and 1000 ppmv (high) CO2 levels while exposing the alga to solar radiation treatments with or without UVR. The presence of UVR inhibited the growth, photosynthetic O2evolution and calcification rates by13%, 6% and 3% in the low and by 47%, 20% and 8% in the high CO2 concentrations, respectively, reflecting a synergistic effect of CO2 enrichment with UVR. UVR induced significant decline of pH in the CO2-enriched cultures. The contents of key photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll a and phycobiliproteins decreased, while UV-absorptivity increased under the highpCO2/low pH condition. Nevertheless, UV-induced inhibition of photosynthesis increased when the ratio of particulate inorganic carbon/particulate organic carbon decreased under the influence of CO2-acidified seawater, suggesting that the calcified layer played a UV-protective role. Both UVA and UVB negatively impacted photosynthesis and calcification, but the inhibition caused by UVB was about 2.5-2.6 times that caused by UVA. The results imply that coralline algae suffer from more damage caused by UVB as they calcify less and less with progressing ocean acidification. In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2011) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI).