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Ocean acidification reverses the positive effects of seawater pH fluctuations on growth and photosynthesis of the habitat-forming kelp, Ecklonia radiata

Citation

Britton, D and Cornwall, CE and Revill, AT and Hurd, CL and Johnson, CR, Ocean acidification reverses the positive effects of seawater pH fluctuations on growth and photosynthesis of the habitat-forming kelp, Ecklonia radiata, Scientific Reports, 6 Article 26036. ISSN 2045-2322 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1038/srep26036

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) is the reduction in seawater pH due to the absorption of human-released CO2 by the world’s oceans. The average surface oceanic pH is predicted to decline by 0.4 units by 2100. However, kelp metabolically modifies seawater pH via photosynthesis and respiration in some temperate coastal systems, resulting in daily pH fluctuations of up to ±0.45 units. It is unknown how these fluctuations in pH influence the growth and physiology of the kelp, or how this might change with OA. In laboratory experiments that mimicked the most extreme pH fluctuations measured within beds of the canopy-forming kelp Ecklonia radiata in Tasmania, the growth and photosynthetic rates of juvenile E. radiata were greater under fluctuating pH (8.4 in the day, 7.8 at night) than in static pH treatments (8.4, 8.1, 7.8). However, pH fluctuations had no effect on growth rates and a negative effect on photosynthesis when the mean pH of each treatment was reduced by 0.3 units. Currently, pH fluctuations have a positive effect on E. radiata but this effect could be reversed in the future under OA, which is likely to impact the future ecological dynamics and productivity of habitats dominated by E. radiata.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean acidification, kelp, pH, climate change
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant Biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. Marine Grasses)
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change
Author:Britton, D (Mr Damon Britton)
Author:Cornwall, CE (Dr Chris Cornwall)
Author:Hurd, CL (Associate Professor Catriona Hurd)
Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
ID Code:111045
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Centre for Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2016-08-29
Last Modified:2016-12-20
Downloads:50 View Download Statistics

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