Seawater carbonate chemistry and growth rates, carbon utilization and the internal pH regulation at the site of calcification in Emiliania huxleyi, Calcidiscus leptoporus and Pleurochrysis


Ocean acidification (OA) appears to have diverse impacts on calcareous coccolithophores, but the cellular processes underlying these responses are not well understood. Here we use stable boron and carbon isotopes, B/Ca ratios, as well as inorganic and organic carbon production rates to investigate the carbon utilization and the internal pH regulation at the site of calcification in Emiliania huxleyi, Pleurochrysis carterae and Calcidiscus leptoporus cultured over a wide pCO2 range (180 to 1000 μatm). Despite large variability, the geochemistry data indicate species-specific modes of pH control and differences in the utilization of inorganic carbon. Boron isotope data suggest that all three species generally upregulate the pH of the calcification fluid (pHCF) compared to surrounding seawater, which coincides with relatively constant growth rates and cellular ratios of inorganic to organic carbon. Furthermore, species exhibit different strategies in regulating their pHCF, i.e., two species maintain homeostasis (pHCF = ∼ 8.7), while one species shows a constant offset to the surrounding seawater (ΔpH = ∼0.6 units) over the entire tested pCO2 range. In addition to these different strategies, carbon isotope data suggests that high plasticity in the utilization of dissolved inorganic carbon might be an explanation for species-specific differences in coccolithophore responses to OA.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2021) 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 2022-04-13.

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Creator Liu, Yiwei; Rokitta, Sebastian D ORCID logo; Rost, Björn ORCID logo; Eagle, Robert A ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2021
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 1945 data points
Discipline Earth System Research