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Short-term response of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to an abrupt change in seawater carbon dioxide concentrations


Barcelos e Ramos, J and Muller, MN and Riebesell, U, Short-term response of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to an abrupt change in seawater carbon dioxide concentrations, Biogeosciences, 7, (1) pp. 177-186. ISSN 1726-4170 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright © The author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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DOI: doi:10.5194/bg-7-177-2010


The response of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to rising CO2 concentrations is well documented for acclimated cultures where cells are exposed to the CO2 treatments for several generations prior to the experiment. The exact number of generations required for acclimation to CO2-induced changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, however, is unknown. Here we show that Emiliania huxleyi's short-term response (26 h) after cultures (grown at 500 uatm) were abruptly exposed to changed CO2 concentrations (~190, 410, 800 and 1500 uatm) is similar to that obtained with acclimated cultures under comparable conditions in earlier studies. Most importantly, from the lower CO2 levels (190 and 410 uatm) to 750 and 1500 uatm calcification decreased and organic carbon fixation increased within the first 8 to 14 h after exposing the cultures to changes in carbonate chemistry. This suggests that Emiliania huxleyi rapidly alters the rates of essential metabolical processes in response to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry, establishing a new physiological "state" (acclimation) within a matter of hours. If this relatively rapid response applies to other phytoplankton species, it may simplify interpretation of studies with natural communities (e.g. mesocosm studies and shipboard incubations), where often it is not feasible to allow for a pre-conditioning phase before starting experimental incubations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Muller, MN (Dr Marius Muller)
ID Code:72199
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:49
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2011-08-23
Last Modified:2022-08-25
Downloads:403 View Download Statistics

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