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Ocean acidification effects on mesozooplankton community development: results from a long-term mesocosm experiment

Citation

Alguero-Muniz, M and Alvarez-Fernandez, S and Thor, P and Bach, LT and Esposito, M and Horn, HG and Ecker, U and Langer, JAF and Taucher, J and Malzahn, AM and Riebesell, U and Boersma, M, Ocean acidification effects on mesozooplankton community development: results from a long-term mesocosm experiment, PLoS ONE, 12, (4) Article e0175851. ISSN 1932-6203 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 Alguero-Muniz et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0175851

Abstract

Ocean acidification may affect zooplankton directly by decreasing in pH, as well as indirectly via trophic pathways, where changes in carbon availability or pH effects on primary producers may cascade up the food web thereby altering ecosystem functioning and community composition. Here, we present results from a mesocosm experiment carried out during 113 days in the Gullmar Fjord, Skagerrak coast of Sweden, studying plankton responses to predicted end-of-century pCO2 levels. We did not observe any pCO2 effect on the diversity of the mesozooplankton community, but a positive pCO2 effect on the total mesozooplankton abundance. Furthermore, we observed species-specific sensitivities to pCO2 in the two major groups in this experiment, copepods and hydromedusae. Also stage-specific pCO2 sensitivities were detected in copepods, with copepodites being the most responsive stage. Focusing on the most abundant species, Pseudocalanus acuspes, we observed that copepodites were significantly more abundant in the high-pCO2 treatment during most of the experiment, probably fuelled by phytoplankton community responses to high-pCO2 conditions. Physiological and reproductive output was analysed on P. acuspes females through two additional laboratory experiments, showing no pCO2 effect on femalesí condition nor on egg hatching. Overall, our results suggest that the Gullmar Fjord mesozooplankton community structure is not expected to change much under realistic end-of-century OA scenarios as used here. However, the positive pCO2 effect detected on mesozooplankton abundance could potentially affect biomass transfer to higher trophic levels in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:zooplankton, ocean acidification
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological Oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
UTAS Author:Bach, LT (Dr Lennart Bach)
ID Code:133665
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-07-05
Last Modified:2019-08-06
Downloads:0

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