Distribution and functional traits of polychaetes in a CO2 vent system: winners and losers among closely related species


We report on fine taxonomic and functional analyses of polychaetes associated with rocky reefs along a gradient of ocean acidification (OA) at the volcanic CO2 vent system off the Castello Aragonese (Ischia Island, Italy). Percent cover of algae and sessile invertebrates (a determinant of polychaete distribution) was classified into functional groups to disentangle the direct effects of low pH on polychaete abundance from the indirect effects of pH on habitat and other species associations. A total of 6459 polychaete specimens belonging to 83 taxa were collected. Polychaete species richness and abundance dramatically dropped under the extreme low pH conditions due to the disappearance of both calcifying and non-calcifying species. Differences in distribution patterns indicate that the decreasing pH modified the structure and biological traits of polychaete assemblages independent of changes in habitat. A detailed taxonomic analysis highlighted species-specific responses to OA, with closely related species having opposing responses to decreasing pH. This resulted in an increase in the abundance of filter feeders and herbivores with decreasing pH, while sessile polychaetes disappeared in the extreme low pH zones, and were replaced by discretely motile forms. Reproductive traits of the polychaete assemblages changed as well, with brooding species dominating the most acidified zones. The few taxa that were abundant in extreme low pH conditions showed high tolerance to OA (e.g. Amphiglena mediterranea, Syllis prolifera, Platynereis cf. dumerilii, Parafabricia mazzellae, Brifacia aragonensis), and are promising models for further studies on the responses of benthic organisms to the effects of reduced pH.

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).

Supplement to: Gambi, Maria Cristina; Musco, Luigi; Giangrande, Adriana; Badalamenti, F; Micheli, Florenza; Kroeker, Kristy J (2016): Distribution and functional traits of polychaetes in a CO2 vent system: winners and losers among closely related species. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 550, 121-134

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.868889
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11727
Related Identifier https://cran.r-project.org/package=seacarb
Metadata Access https://ws.pangaea.de/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=datacite4&identifier=oai:pangaea.de:doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.868889
Creator Gambi, Maria Cristina (ORCID: 0000-0002-0168-776X); Musco, Luigi ORCID logo; Giangrande, Adriana ORCID logo; Badalamenti, F (ORCID: 0000-0002-2395-454X); Micheli, Florenza; Kroeker, Kristy J ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2016
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 14880 data points
Discipline Earth System Research