Seasonal variation in the effects of ocean warming and acidification on a native bryozoan, Celleporaria nodulosa
Durrant, HMS, Clark, GF, Dworjanyn, SA, Byrne, M & Johnston, EL 2013, 'Seasonal variation in the effects of ocean warming and acidification on a native bryozoan, Celleporaria nodulosa', Marine Biology, vol. 160, no. 8, pp. 1903-1911.
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Ocean warming and acidification are co-occurring stressors likely to affect marine biota through climate-driven change to the ocean. We investigated the effects of increased temperature and lowered pH, solely and in combination, on the growth of the endemic Australian bryozoan,Celleporaria nodulosa. Two temperatures and three pH levels were fully crossed in experimental treatments performed in winter 2008 (August) and summer 2009 (February/March). Fragments of C. nodulosa colonies (clones) were collected from Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia, (30°18′S, 153°09′E) and elongation of colonies was assessed periodically over a 12-day incubation period. Lowered pH in winter significantly decreased growth. Elevated temperatures during the summer significantly impeded the growth of bryozoan colonies, possibly masking the effect of ocean acidification and discovering a maximal thermal tolerance at around 27 °C for C. nodulosa. The effects of decreased pH and increased temperature may be seasonally dependent and particularly acute during the summer months. Thermal stress may in fact be the initial stressor before ocean acidification, negatively affecting organisms in such a way that they are unable to survive before feeling the effects of ocean acidification.