Effects of acute ocean acidification on spatially-diverse polar pelagic foodwebs:Insights from on-deck microcosms


The polar oceans are experiencing some of the largest levels of ocean acidification (OA) resulting from the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Our understanding of the impacts this is having on polar marine communities is mainly derived from studies of single species in laboratory conditions, while the consequences for food web interactions remain largely unknown. This study carried out experimental manipulations of natural pelagic communities at different high latitude sites in both the northern (Nordic Seas) and southern hemispheres (Scotia and Weddell Seas). The aim of this study was to identify more generic responses and greater experimental reproducibility through implementing a series of short term (4 day), multilevel (3 treatment) carbonate chemistry manipulation experiments on unfiltered natural surface ocean communities, including grazing copepods. The experiments were successfully executed at six different sites, covering a diverse range of environmental conditions and differing plankton community compositions. The study identified the interaction between copepods and dinoflagellate cell abundance to be significantly altered by elevated levels of dissolved CO2 (pCO2), with dinoflagellates decreasing relative to ambient conditions across all six experiments. A similar pattern was not observed in any other major phytoplankton group. The patterns indicate that copepods show a stronger preference for dinoflagellates when in elevated pCO2 conditions, demonstrating that changes in food quality and altered grazing selectivity may be a major consequence of ocean acidification. The study also found that transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP) generally increased when pCO2 levels were elevated, but the response was dependent on the exact set of environmental conditions. Bacteria and nannoplankton showed a neutral response to elevated pCO2 and there was no significant relationship between changes in bacterial or nannoplankton abundance and that of TEP concentrations. Overall, the study illustrated that, although some similar responses exist, these contrasting high latitude surface ocean communities are likely to show different responses to the onset of elevated pCO2.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2016) 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 2016-11-30.

Supplement to: Tarling, Geraint A; Peck, Victoria L; Ward, Peter; Ensor, N S; Achterberg, Eric Pieter; Tynan, Eithne; Poulton, Alex J; Mitchell, E; Zubkov, Mikhail V (2016): Effects of acute ocean acidification on spatially-diverse polar pelagic foodwebs: Insights from on-deck microcosms. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 127, 75-92

DOI https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.869124
Related Identifier https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.02.008
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.869124
Creator Tarling, Geraint A; Peck, Victoria L; Ward, Peter; Ensor, N S; Achterberg, Eric Pieter; Tynan, Eithne ORCID logo; Poulton, Alex J ORCID logo; Mitchell, E; Zubkov, Mikhail V 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
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 4975 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-36.623W, -58.087S, 26.003E, 78.281N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2012-06-03T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2013-02-01T00:00:00Z