Seawater carbonate chemistry, productivity and calcification of Marginopora vertebralis in a laboratory experiment


Changes in the seawater carbonate chemistry (ocean acidification) from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentrations negatively affect many marine calcifying organisms, but may benefit primary producers under dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) limitation. To improve predictions of the ecological effects of ocean acidification, the net gains and losses between the processes of photosynthesis and calcification need to be studied jointly on physiological and population levels. We studied productivity, respiration, and abundances of the symbiont-bearing foraminifer species Marginopora vertebralis on natural CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea and conducted additional studies on production and calcification on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) using artificially enhanced pCO2 . Net oxygen production increased up to 90% with increasing pCO2 ; temperature, light, and pH together explaining 61% of the variance in production. Production increased with increasing light and increasing pCO2 and declined at higher temperatures. Respiration was also significantly elevated (~25%), whereas calcification was reduced (16-39%) at low pH/high pCO2 compared to present-day conditions. In the field, M. vertebralis was absent at three CO2 seep sites at pHTotal levels below ~7.9 (pCO2 ~700 µatm), but it was found in densities of over 1000 m(-2) at all three control sites. The study showed that endosymbiotic algae in foraminifera benefit from increased DIC availability and may be naturally carbon limited. The observed reduction in calcification may have been caused either by increased energy demands for proton pumping (measured as elevated rates of respiration) or by stronger competition for DIC from the more productive symbionts. The net outcome of these two competing processes is that M. vertebralis cannot maintain populations under pCO2 exceeding 700 µatm, thus are likely to be extinct in the next century.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Lavigne and Gattuso, 2011) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation is 2014-03-27.

Supplement to: Uthicke, Sven; Fabricius, Katharina Elisabeth (2012): Productivity gains do not compensate for reduced calcification under near-future ocean acidification in the photosynthetic benthic foraminifer species Marginopora vertebralis. Global Change Biology, 18(9), 2781-2791

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Metadata Access
Creator Uthicke, Sven ORCID logo; Fabricius, Katharina Elisabeth ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2012
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 7798 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (146.483W, -18.650S, 150.833E, -9.750N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2011-04-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2012-01-31T00:00:00Z