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Inorganic carbon physiology underpins macroalgal responses to elevated CO2


Cornwall, CE and Revill, AT and Hall-Spencer, JM and Milazzo, M and Raven, JA and Hurd, CL, Inorganic carbon physiology underpins macroalgal responses to elevated CO2, Scientific Reports, 7 Article 46297. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/srep46297


Beneficial effects of CO2 on photosynthetic organisms will be a key driver of ecosystem change under ocean acidification. Predicting the responses of macroalgal species to ocean acidification is complex, but we demonstrate that the response of assemblages to elevated CO2 are correlated with inorganic carbon physiology. We assessed abundance patterns and a proxy for CO2:HCO3 use (δ13C values) of macroalgae along a gradient of CO2 at a volcanic seep, and examined how shifts in species abundance at other Mediterranean seeps are related to macroalgal inorganic carbon physiology. Five macroalgal species capable of using both HCO3 and CO2 had greater CO2 use as concentrations increased. These species (and one unable to use HCO3) increased in abundance with elevated CO2 whereas obligate calcifying species, and non-calcareous macroalgae whose CO2 use did not increase consistently with concentration, declined in abundance. Physiological groupings provide a mechanistic understanding that will aid us in determining which species will benefit from ocean acidification and why.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Seaweed, climate change, ocean acidification, carbon physiology
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Phycology (incl. marine grasses)
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
UTAS Author:Cornwall, CE (Dr Chris Cornwall)
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
ID Code:116083
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:87
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2017-05-01
Last Modified:2018-04-24
Downloads:144 View Download Statistics

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