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Carbon-13 labelling shows no effect of ocean acidification on carbon transfer in Mediterranean plankton communities
Maugendre, L.; Gattuso, J.-P.; de Kluijver, A.; Soetaert, K.; van Oevelen, D.; Middelburg, J.J.; Gazeau, F. (2017). Carbon-13 labelling shows no effect of ocean acidification on carbon transfer in Mediterranean plankton communities. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 186(Part A): 100-111. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.12.018
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Ocean acidification; Plankton communities; Carbon transfer; 13C and biomarkers; Mesocosm experiments; Mediterranean Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Maugendre, L.
  • Gattuso, J.-P.
  • de Kluijver, A.
  • Soetaert, K., more
  • van Oevelen, D., more
  • Middelburg, J.J., more
  • Gazeau, F.

Abstract
    Despite an increasing number of experiments, no consensus has emerged on the effect of ocean acidificationon plankton communities and carbon flow. During two experiments, performed in the Bay ofCalvi (France, Corsica; summer 2012) and the Bay of Villefranche (France; winter 2013), nine off-shoremesocosms (~50 m3) were deployed among which three served as controls and six were enrichedwith CO2 to reach partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) levels from 450 to 1350 matm and 350e1250 matm in theBay of Calvi and the Bay of Villefranche, respectively. In each mesocosm, inorganic 13C was added in orderto follow carbon transfer from inorganic via bulk particulate organic carbon and phytoplankton tobacteria by means of biomarkers as well as to zooplankton and settling particles. Despite very lowplankton biomasses, labelled carbon was clearly transferred through plankton communities. Incorporationrates in the various plankton compartments suggested a slow-growing community based on regeneratedproduction in the Bay of Calvi while in the Bay of Villefranche, fast-growing species wereclearly dominating community production at the start with a shift toward slow-growing species duringthe experiment due to nutrient limitation. Both bulk and group-specific productions rates did notrespond to increasing pCO2 levels. These experiments were the first conducted in the Mediterranean Seaunder low nutrient concentrations and phytoplankton biomasses and suggest that ocean acidificationmay not significantly impact plankton carbon flows in low nutrient low chlorophyll (LNLC) areas.

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