Seawater carbonate chemistry and maximum growth rates of Skeletonema marinoi and Alexandrium ostenfeldii, toxin composition of Alexandrium ostenfeldii in a laboratory experiment, supplement to: Kremp, Anke; Godhe, Anna; Egardt, Jenny; Dupont, Sam; Suikkanen, Sanna; Casabianca, Silvia; Penna, Antonella (2012): Intraspecific variability in the response of bloom-forming marine microalgae to changed climate conditions. Ecology and Evolution, 2(6), 1195-1207


Phytoplankton populations can display high levels of genetic diversity that, when reflected by phenotypic variability, may stabilize a species response to environmental changes. We studied the effects of increased temperature and CO2 availability as predicted consequences of global change, on 16 genetically different isolates of the diatom Skeletonema marinoi from the Adriatic Sea and the Skagerrak (North Sea), and on eight strains of the PST (paralytic shellfish toxin)-producing dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii from the Baltic Sea. Maximum growth rates were estimated in batch cultures of acclimated isolates grown for five to 10 generations in a factorial design at 20 and 24 °C, and present day and next century applied atmospheric pCO2, respectively. In both species, individual strains were affected in different ways by increased temperature and pCO2. The strongest response variability, buffering overall effects, was detected among Adriatic S. marinoi strains. Skagerrak strains showed a more uniform response, particularly to increased temperature, with an overall positive effect on growth. Increased temperature also caused a general growth stimulation in A. ostenfeldii, despite notable variability in strain-specific response patterns. Our data revealed a significant relationship between strain-specific growth rates and the impact of pCO2 on growth-slow growing cultures were generally positively affected, while fast growing cultures showed no or negative responses to increased pCO2. Toxin composition of A. ostenfeldii was consistently altered by elevated temperature and increased CO2 supply in the tested strains, resulting in overall promotion of saxitoxin production by both treatments. Our findings suggest that phenotypic variability within populations plays an important role in the adaptation of phytoplankton to changing environments, potentially attenuating short-term effects and forming the basis for selection. In particular, A. ostenfeldii blooms may expand and increase in toxicity under increased water temperature and atmospheric pCO2 conditions, with potentially severe consequences for the coastal ecosystem.

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 by seacarb is 2013-11-28.

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Kremp, Anke; Godhe, Anna; Egardt, Jenny; Dupont, Sam; Suikkanen, Sanna; Casabianca, Silvia; Penna, Antonella
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
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 6452 data points
Discipline Immunology; Life Sciences; Medicine; Microbiology, Virology and Immunology
Spatial Coverage (11.058W, 43.925S, 20.510E, 60.100N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2009-03-04T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2010-04-15T00:00:00Z