Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web

Ulf Riebesell*, Nicole Aberle-Malzahn, Eric P. Achterberg, María Algueró-Muñiz, Santiago Alvarez-Fernandez, Javier Arístegui, Lennart T. Bach, Maarten Boersma, Tim Boxhammer, Wanchun Guan, Mathias Haunost, Henriette G. Horn, Carolin R. Löscher, Andrea Ludwig, Carsten Spisla, Michael Sswat, Paul Stange, Jan Taucher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Ocean acidification, the change in seawater carbonate chemistry due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2, affects the physiology of marine organisms in multiple ways1. Diverse competitive and trophic interactions transform the metabolic responses to changes in community composition, seasonal succession and potentially geographical distribution of species. The health of ocean ecosystems depends on whether basic biotic functions are maintained, ecosystem engineers and keystone species are retained, and the spread of nuisance species is avoided2. Here, we show in a field experiment that the toxic microalga Vicicitus globosus has a selective advantage under ocean acidification, increasing its abundance in natural plankton communities at CO2 levels higher than 600 µatm and developing blooms above 800 µatm CO2. The mass development of V. globosus has had a dramatic impact on the plankton community, preventing the development of the micro- and mesozooplankton communities, thereby disrupting trophic transfer of primary produced organic matter. This has prolonged the residence of particulate matter in the water column and caused a strong decline in export flux. Considering its wide geographical distribution and confirmed role in fish kills3, the proliferation of V. globosus under the IPCC4 CO2 emission representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5 to RCP8.5) scenarios may pose an emergent threat to coastal communities, aquaculture and fisheries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume8
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1082-1086
ISSN1758-678X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Fingerprint

geographical distribution
food web
plankton
algal bloom
keystone species
microalga
ecosystem
trophic interaction
community composition
physiology
aquaculture
particulate matter
transform
water column
fishery
seawater
carbonate
organic matter
ocean
fish

Cite this

Riebesell, U., Aberle-Malzahn, N., Achterberg, E. P., Algueró-Muñiz, M., Alvarez-Fernandez, S., Arístegui, J., ... Taucher, J. (2018). Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web. Nature Climate Change, 8(12), 1082-1086. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0344-1
Riebesell, Ulf ; Aberle-Malzahn, Nicole ; Achterberg, Eric P. ; Algueró-Muñiz, María ; Alvarez-Fernandez, Santiago ; Arístegui, Javier ; Bach, Lennart T. ; Boersma, Maarten ; Boxhammer, Tim ; Guan, Wanchun ; Haunost, Mathias ; Horn, Henriette G. ; Löscher, Carolin R. ; Ludwig, Andrea ; Spisla, Carsten ; Sswat, Michael ; Stange, Paul ; Taucher, Jan. / Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web. In: Nature Climate Change. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 12. pp. 1082-1086.
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Riebesell, U, Aberle-Malzahn, N, Achterberg, EP, Algueró-Muñiz, M, Alvarez-Fernandez, S, Arístegui, J, Bach, LT, Boersma, M, Boxhammer, T, Guan, W, Haunost, M, Horn, HG, Löscher, CR, Ludwig, A, Spisla, C, Sswat, M, Stange, P & Taucher, J 2018, 'Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web', Nature Climate Change, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 1082-1086. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0344-1

Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web. / Riebesell, Ulf; Aberle-Malzahn, Nicole; Achterberg, Eric P.; Algueró-Muñiz, María; Alvarez-Fernandez, Santiago; Arístegui, Javier; Bach, Lennart T.; Boersma, Maarten; Boxhammer, Tim; Guan, Wanchun; Haunost, Mathias; Horn, Henriette G.; Löscher, Carolin R.; Ludwig, Andrea; Spisla, Carsten; Sswat, Michael; Stange, Paul; Taucher, Jan.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 8, No. 12, 12.2018, p. 1082-1086.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web

AU - Riebesell, Ulf

AU - Aberle-Malzahn, Nicole

AU - Achterberg, Eric P.

AU - Algueró-Muñiz, María

AU - Alvarez-Fernandez, Santiago

AU - Arístegui, Javier

AU - Bach, Lennart T.

AU - Boersma, Maarten

AU - Boxhammer, Tim

AU - Guan, Wanchun

AU - Haunost, Mathias

AU - Horn, Henriette G.

AU - Löscher, Carolin R.

AU - Ludwig, Andrea

AU - Spisla, Carsten

AU - Sswat, Michael

AU - Stange, Paul

AU - Taucher, Jan

PY - 2018/12

Y1 - 2018/12

N2 - Ocean acidification, the change in seawater carbonate chemistry due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2, affects the physiology of marine organisms in multiple ways1. Diverse competitive and trophic interactions transform the metabolic responses to changes in community composition, seasonal succession and potentially geographical distribution of species. The health of ocean ecosystems depends on whether basic biotic functions are maintained, ecosystem engineers and keystone species are retained, and the spread of nuisance species is avoided2. Here, we show in a field experiment that the toxic microalga Vicicitus globosus has a selective advantage under ocean acidification, increasing its abundance in natural plankton communities at CO2 levels higher than 600 µatm and developing blooms above 800 µatm CO2. The mass development of V. globosus has had a dramatic impact on the plankton community, preventing the development of the micro- and mesozooplankton communities, thereby disrupting trophic transfer of primary produced organic matter. This has prolonged the residence of particulate matter in the water column and caused a strong decline in export flux. Considering its wide geographical distribution and confirmed role in fish kills3, the proliferation of V. globosus under the IPCC4 CO2 emission representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5 to RCP8.5) scenarios may pose an emergent threat to coastal communities, aquaculture and fisheries.

AB - Ocean acidification, the change in seawater carbonate chemistry due to the uptake of anthropogenic CO2, affects the physiology of marine organisms in multiple ways1. Diverse competitive and trophic interactions transform the metabolic responses to changes in community composition, seasonal succession and potentially geographical distribution of species. The health of ocean ecosystems depends on whether basic biotic functions are maintained, ecosystem engineers and keystone species are retained, and the spread of nuisance species is avoided2. Here, we show in a field experiment that the toxic microalga Vicicitus globosus has a selective advantage under ocean acidification, increasing its abundance in natural plankton communities at CO2 levels higher than 600 µatm and developing blooms above 800 µatm CO2. The mass development of V. globosus has had a dramatic impact on the plankton community, preventing the development of the micro- and mesozooplankton communities, thereby disrupting trophic transfer of primary produced organic matter. This has prolonged the residence of particulate matter in the water column and caused a strong decline in export flux. Considering its wide geographical distribution and confirmed role in fish kills3, the proliferation of V. globosus under the IPCC4 CO2 emission representative concentration pathway (RCP4.5 to RCP8.5) scenarios may pose an emergent threat to coastal communities, aquaculture and fisheries.

U2 - 10.1038/s41558-018-0344-1

DO - 10.1038/s41558-018-0344-1

M3 - Letter

VL - 8

SP - 1082

EP - 1086

JO - Nature Climate Change

JF - Nature Climate Change

SN - 1758-678X

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Riebesell U, Aberle-Malzahn N, Achterberg EP, Algueró-Muñiz M, Alvarez-Fernandez S, Arístegui J et al. Toxic algal bloom induced by ocean acidification disrupts the pelagic food web. Nature Climate Change. 2018 Dec;8(12):1082-1086. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0344-1