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Mar Environ Res ; 167: 105291, 2021 Feb 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33691257


Ocean acidification (OA) can negatively affect early-life stages of marine organisms, with the key processes of larval settlement and metamorphosis potentially vulnerable to reduced seawater pH. Settlement success depends strongly on suitable substrates and environmental cues, with marine biofilms as key settlement inducers for a range of marine invertebrate larvae. This study experimentally investigated (1) how seawater pH determines growth and community composition of marine biofilms, and (2) whether marine biofilms developed under different pH conditions can alter settlement success in the New Zealand serpulid polychaete Galeolaria hystrix. Biofilms were developed under six pH(T) treatments (spanning from 7.0 to 8.1 [ambient]) in a flow-through system for up to 14 months. Biofilms of different ages (7, 10 and 14 months) were used to assay successful settlement of competent G. hystrix larvae reared under ambient conditions. Biofilm microbiomes were characterized through amplicon sequencing of the small subunit ribosomal rRNA gene (16S and 18S). Biofilm community composition was stable over time within each pH treatment and biofilm age did not affect larval settlement selectivity. Seawater pH treatment strongly influenced biofilm community composition, as well as subsequent settlement success when biofilms were presented to competent Galeolaria larvae. Exposure to biofilms incubated under OA-treatments caused a decrease in larval settlement of up to 40% compared to the ambient treatments. We observed a decrease in settlement on biofilms relative to ambient pH for slides incubated at pH 7.9 and 7.7. This trend was reversed at pH 7.4, resulting in high settlement, comparable to ambient biofilms. Settlement decreased on biofilms from pH 7.2, and no settlement was observed on biofilms from pH 7.0. For the first time, we show that long-term incubation of marine biofilms under a wide range of reduced seawater pH treatments can alter marine biofilms in such a way that settlement success in marine invertebrates can be compromised.

Mar Environ Res ; 159: 104977, 2020 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32662430


Extensive research has shown that the early life stages of marine organisms are sensitive to ocean acidification (OA). Less is known, however, on whether larval settlement and metamorphosis may be affected, or by which mechanisms. These are key processes in the life cycle of most marine benthic organisms, since they mark the transition between the free swimming larval stage to benthic life. We investigated whether OA could affect the larval settlement success of the sea urchin Evechinus chloroticus, a key coastal species with ecological, economic and cultural importance in New Zealand. We performed four settlement experiments to test whether reduced seawater pH (ranging from 8.1 to 7.0, at an interval of ~0.2 pH units) alters larval settlement and metamorphosis success. Our results show that settlement success was not significantly reduced when the larvae were exposed to a range of reduced seawater pH treatments (8.1-7.0) at time of settlement (on direct effects). Similarly, when presented with crustose coralline algae (CCA) pre-conditioned in seawater pH of either pH 8.1 or 7.7 for 28 days, larval settlement success remained unaltered (on indirect effects). We conclude that competent larvae in this species are resilient to OA at time of settlement. Further research on a range of taxa that vary in settlement selectivity and behaviour is needed in order to fully understand the effects of OA on the life cycle of marine invertebrates and the consequences it might have for future coastal marine ecosystems.

Ecossistema , Ouriços-do-Mar , Água do Mar , Animais , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Larva , Metamorfose Biológica
Sci Total Environ ; 693: 133507, 2019 Nov 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31377366


Systems with strong horizontal and vertical gradients, such as fjords, are useful models for studying environmental forcing. Here we examine microbial (prokaryotic and eukaryotic) community changes associated with the surface low salinity layer (LSL) and underlying seawater in multiple fjords in Fiordland National Park (New Zealand). High rainfall (1200-8000 mm annually) and linked runoff from native forested catchments results in surface LSLs with high tannin concentrations within each fjord. These gradients are expected to drive changes in microbial communities. We used amplicon sequencing (16S and 18S) to assess the impact of these gradients on microbial communities and identified depth linked changes in diversity and community structure. With increasing depth, we observed significant increases in Proteobacteria (15%) and SAR (37%), decreases in Opisthokonta (35%), and transiently increased Bacteroidetes (3% increase from 0 to 40 m, decreasing by 8% at 200 m). Community structure differences were observed along a transect from the head to the mouth, specifically 25% mean relative abundance decreases in Opisthokonta and Bacteroidetes, and increases in SAR (25%) and Proteobacteria (>5%) at the surface, indicating changes based on distance from the ocean. This provides the first in-depth view into the ecological drivers of microbial communities within New Zealand fjords.

Microbiota/fisiologia , Fitoplâncton/fisiologia , Água do Mar/química , Archaea/fisiologia , Fenômenos Fisiológicos Bacterianos , Estuários , Eucariotos , Nova Zelândia , Salinidade