The carbon turnover response to thermal stress of a dominant coralline alga on the fast warming Levant coast.

Guy-Haim, Tamar , Silverman, Jacob, Raddatz, Stefanie, Wahl, Martin , Israel, Alvaro and Rilov, Gil (2016) The carbon turnover response to thermal stress of a dominant coralline alga on the fast warming Levant coast. Limnology and Oceanography, 61 (3). pp. 1120-1133. DOI 10.1002/lno.10279.

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Abstract

Marine organisms in the Mediterranean Sea experience the highest temperatures, salinities and oligotrophic conditions in its easternmost part along the eastern shores of the Levantine basin. Over the past three decades this region has warmed by ca. 1.5–3.0°C with current winter and summer extremums of 17°C and 31°C, respectively. In this study, we tested the response of the native abundant articulated coralline red alga Ellisolandia elongata to this warming. Coralline algae play a key role in coastal ecosystems by structuring marine habitats, providing shelter for a myriad of species, and substantially influencing the coastal carbon budget. Despite being ubiquitous along the Levantine coasts, coralline's ecology, physiology, and biogeochemical role are nearly unknown as well as their performance under different temperatures. Measurements of primary production, respiration and calcification in the temperatures range 15–35°C, which represent past, present and predicted local annual conditions, indicated two physiological tipping points: 1) metabolic breakdown above 31°C; 2) metabolic shift at 23°C, possibly promoting seasonal algal heterotrichy (perennation of the alga without its fronds). Annual production rates were evaluated under the current and predicted temperature regimes indicating a loss of ca. one third of the organic carbon and carbonate production by corallines contributed to the shallow Levantine coast in the upcoming decades. We predict that with continued warming, Eastern Mediterranean corallines will experience a westward range contraction, initiating with phenological shifts, followed by performance declines and population decreases, ending with local extinctions.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R08
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1002/lno.10279
ISSN: 0024-3590
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2016 10:55
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:15
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/33140

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