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The modulating effect of light intensity on the response of the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica to ocean acidification

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 05:05 authored by Zhart, Y, Lennart BachLennart Bach, Schulz, KG, Riebesell, U

Global change leads to a multitude of simultaneous modifications in the marine realm among which shoaling of the upper mixed layer, leading to enhanced surface layer light intensities, as well as increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration are some of the most critical environmental alterations for phytoplankton. In this study, we investigated the responses of growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification of the coccolithophore Gephyrocapsa oceanica to elevated (51 Pa, 105 Pa, and 152 Pa) (1 Pa ≈ 10 μatm) at a variety of light intensities (50–800 μmol photons m−2 s−1). By fitting the light response curve, our results showed that rising reduced the maximum rates for growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification. Increasing light intensity enhanced the sensitivity of these rate responses to , and shifted the optima toward lower levels. Combining the results of this and a previous study (Sett et al. 2014) on the same strain indicates that both limiting low and inhibiting high levels (this study) induce similar responses, reducing growth, carbon fixation and calcification rates of G. oceanica. At limiting low light intensities the optima for maximum growth, carbon fixation and calcification are shifted toward higher levels. Interacting effects of simultaneously occurring environmental changes, such as increasing light intensity and ocean acidification, need to be considered when trying to assess metabolic rates of marine phytoplankton under future ocean scenarios.


Publication title

Limnology and Oceanography










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Amer Soc Limnology Oceanography

Place of publication

5400 Bosque Blvd, Ste 680, Waco, USA, Tx, 76710-4446

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences

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