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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-213
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-213
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  26 Jun 2020

26 Jun 2020

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This preprint was under review for the journal BG. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

Reduced growth with increased quotas of particulate organic and inorganic carbon in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi under future ocean climate change conditions

Yong Zhang1,4, Sinéad Collins2, and Kunshan Gao1,3 Yong Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science and College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
  • 2Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FL, United Kingdom
  • 3Co-Innovation Center of Jiangsu Marine Bio-industry Technology, Jiangsu Ocean University, Lianyungang, China
  • 4College of Environmental Science and Engineering, and Fujian Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Recycling, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China

Abstract. Effects of ocean acidification and warming on marine primary producers can be modulated by other environmental factors, such as levels of nutrients and light. Here, we investigated the interactive effects of five oceanic environmental drivers (CO2, temperature, light, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate) on growth rate, particulate organic (POC) and inorganic (PIC) carbon quotas of the cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. Population growth rate increased with increasing temperature (16 to 20 °C) and light intensities (60 to 240 μmol photons m−2  s−1), but decreased with elevated pCO2 concentrations (370 to 960 μatm) and reduced availability of nitrate (24.3 to 7.8 μmol L−1) and phosphate (1.5 to 0.5 μmol L−1). POC quotas were predominantly enhanced by combined effects of increased pCO2 and decreased availability of phosphate. PIC quotas increased with decreased availability of nitrate and phosphate. Our results show that concurrent changes in nutrient concentrations and pCO2 levels predominantly affected growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification of E. huxleyi, and imply that plastic responses to progressive ocean acidification, warming and decreasing availability of nitrate and phosphate reduce population growth rate while increasing cellular quotas of particulate organic and inorganic carbon of E. huxleyi, ultimately affecting coccolithophore-related ecological and biogeochemical processes.

Yong Zhang et al.

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Yong Zhang et al.

Yong Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Our results showed that ocean acidification, warming, increased light exposures and reduced nutrients availability significantly reduced growth rate but increased POC and PIC contents per cell in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, implying biogeochemical consequences of future ocean changes on the calcifying microalga. Concurrent changes in nutrient concentrations and pCO2 levels predominantly affected growth, photosynthetic carbon fixation and calcification of E. huxleyi.
Our results showed that ocean acidification, warming, increased light exposures and reduced...
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