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Influence of CO2 and nitrogen limitation on the coccolith volume of Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta)

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posted on 2023-05-17, 13:55 authored by Muller, MN, Beaufort, L, Bernard, O, Pedrotti, ML, Talec, A, Sciandra, A
Coccolithophores, a key phytoplankton group, are one of the most studied organisms regarding their physiological response to ocean acidification/carbonation. The biogenic production of calcareous coccoliths has made coccolithophores a promising group for paleoceanographic research aiming to reconstruct past environmental conditions. Recently, geochemical and morphological analyses of fossil coccoliths have gained increased interest in regard to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. The cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi (Lohm.) Hay and Mohler was cultured over a range of pCO2 levels in controlled laboratory experiments under nutrient replete and nitrogen limited conditions. Measurements of photosynthesis and calcification revealed, as previously published, an increase in particulate organic carbon production and a moderate decrease in calcification from ambient to elevated pCO2. The enhancement in particulate organic carbon production was accompanied by an increase in cell diameter. Changes in coccolith volume were best correlated with the coccosphere/cell diameter and no significant correlation was found between the coccolith volume and the particulate inorganic carbon production. The conducted experiments revealed that the coccolith volume of E. huxleyi is variable with aquatic CO2 concentration but its sensitivity is rather small in comparison with its sensitivity to nitrogen limitation. Comparing coccolith morphological and geometrical parameters like volume, mass and size to physiological parameters under controlled laboratory conditions is an important step to understand variations in fossil coccolith geometry.

Funding

University of Tasmania

History

Publication title

Biogeosciences

Volume

9

Issue

10

Pagination

4155-4167

ISSN

1726-4170

Department/School

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Publisher

Copernicus Gesellschaft MBH

Place of publication

Gottingen, Germany

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (cc BY 3.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Effects of climate change on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. social impacts)

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