Effects of long-term high CO2 exposure on two species of coccolithophores
- 1Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Marine Biogeochemistry, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
- 2LOV, UMR 7093, Station Zoologique, BP 28, 06234 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
Abstract. The physiological performance of two coccolithophore species, Emiliania huxleyi and Coccolithus braarudii, was investigated during long-term exposure to elevated pCO2 levels. Mono-specific cultures were grown over 152 (E. huxleyi) and 65 (C. braarudii) generations while pCO2 was gradually increased to maximum levels of 1150 μatm (E. huxleyi) and 930 μatm (C. braarudii) and kept constant thereafter. Rates of cell growth and cell quotas of particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) and total particulate nitrogen (TPN) were determined repeatedly throughout the incubation period. Increasing pCO2 caused a decrease in cell growth rate of 9% and 29% in E. huxleyi and C. braarudii, respectively. In both species cellular PIC:TPN and PIC:POC ratios decreased in response to rising pCO2, whereas no change was observed in the POC:TPN ratios of E. huxleyi and C. braarudii. These results are consistent with those obtained in shorter-term high CO2 exposure experiments following abrupt pertubations of the seawater carbonate system and indicate that for the strains tested here a gradual CO2 increase does not alleviate CO2/pH sensitivity.