Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and acidification

Schlüter, Lothar, Lohbeck, Kai T., Gutowska, Magdalena A., Gröger, Joachim P., Riebesell, Ulf and Reusch, Thorsten B.H. (2014) Adaptation of a globally important coccolithophore to ocean warming and acidification Nature Climate Change, 4 (11). pp. 1024-1030. DOI 10.1038/NCLIMATE2379.

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Abstract

Although ocean warming and acidification are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of today’s oceans we know very little about how marine phytoplankton may respond via evolutionary change. We tested for adaptation to ocean warming in combination with ocean acidification in the globally important phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi. Temperature adaptation occurred independently of ocean acidification levels. Growth rates were up to 16% higher in populations adapted for one year to warming when assayed at their upper thermal tolerance limit. Particulate inorganic (PIC) and organic (POC) carbon production was restored to values under present-day ocean conditions, owing to adaptive evolution, and were 101% and 55% higher under combined warming and acidification, respectively, than in non-adapted controls. Cells also evolved to a smaller size while they recovered their initial PIC:POC ratio even under elevated CO2. The observed changes in coccolithophore growth, calcite and biomass production, cell size and elemental composition demonstrate the importance of evolutionary processes for phytoplankton performance in a future ocean.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000344598400028
Keywords: MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON; EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION; GEPHYROCAPSA-OCEANICA; ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION; EMILIANIA-HUXLEYI; CARBON FLUXES; TEMPERATURE; CO2; SENSITIVITIES; VARIABILITY
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BI Biological Oceanography
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2379
ISSN: 1758-678X
Projects: BIOACID, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2014 08:45
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2017 12:00
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/25582

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