The response of marine picoplankton to ocean acidification

Newbold, Lindsay K. ORCID:; Oliver, Anna E.; Booth, Tim; Tiwari, Bela; DeSantis, Todd; Maguire, Michael; Andersen, Gary; van der Gast, Christopher J.; Whiteley, Andrew S.. 2012 The response of marine picoplankton to ocean acidification. Environmental Microbiology, 14 (9). 2293-2307.

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Since industrialization global CO2 emissions have increased, and as a consequence oceanic pH is predicted to drop by 0.3–0.4 units before the end of the century – a process coined ‘ocean acidification’. Consequently, there is significant interest in how pH changes will affect the ocean's biota and integral processes. We investigated marine picoplankton (0.2–2 µm diameter) community response to predicted end of century CO2 concentrations, via a ‘high-CO2’ (∼ 750 ppm) large-volume (11 000 l) contained seawater mesocosm approach. We found little evidence of changes occurring in bacterial abundance or community composition due to elevated CO2 under both phytoplankton pre-bloom/bloom and post-bloom conditions. In contrast, significant differences were observed between treatments for a number of key picoeukaryote community members. These data suggested a key outcome of ocean acidification is a more rapid exploitation of elevated CO2 levels by photosynthetic picoeukaryotes. Thus, our study indicates the need for a more thorough understanding of picoeukaryote-mediated carbon flow within ocean acidification experiments, both in relation to picoplankton carbon sources, sinks and transfer to higher trophic levels.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
ISSN: 1462-2912
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The definitive version is available at
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 15 Oct 2012 15:59 +0 (UTC)

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