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Copper pollution exacerbates the effects of ocean acidification and warming on kelp microscopic early life stages


Leal, PP and Hurd, CL and Sander, SG and Armstrong, E and Fernandez, PA and Suhrhoff, TJ and Roleda, MY, Copper pollution exacerbates the effects of ocean acidification and warming on kelp microscopic early life stages, Scientific Reports, 8, (1) Article 14763. ISSN 2045-2322 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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© 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32899-w


Ocean warming (OW), ocean acidification (OA) and their interaction with local drivers, e.g., copper pollution, may negatively affect macroalgae and their microscopic life stages. We evaluated meiospore development of the kelps Macrocystis pyrifera and Undaria pinnatifida exposed to a factorial combination of current and 2100-predicted temperature (12 and 16 °C, respectively), pH (8.16 and 7.65, respectively), and two copper levels (no-added-copper and species-specific germination Cu-EC50). Meiospore germination for both species declined by 5–18% under OA and ambient temperature/OA conditions, irrespective of copper exposure. Germling growth rate declined by >40%·day−1, and gametophyte development was inhibited under Cu-EC50 exposure, compared to the no-added-copper treatment, irrespective of pH and temperature. Following the removal of copper and 9-day recovery under respective pH and temperature treatments, germling growth rates increased by 8–18%·day−1. The exception was U. pinnatifida under OW/OA, where growth rate remained at 10%·day−1 before and after copper exposure. Copper-binding ligand concentrations were higher in copper-exposed cultures of both species, suggesting that ligands may act as a defence mechanism of kelp early life stages against copper toxicity. Our study demonstrated that copper pollution is more important than global climate drivers in controlling meiospore development in kelps as it disrupts the completion of their life cycle.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ocean acidification, multiple stressors, multiple drivers, temperature, copper pollution, Macrocystis, seaweed, kelp
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:Leal, PP (Mr Pablo Leal Sandoval)
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
ID Code:128637
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-10-04
Last Modified:2018-11-23
Downloads:217 View Download Statistics

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