Thermal response of calcification and metabolism in Mediterranean seaweeds.

Ocean warming is occurring as a consequence of increases of greenhouse gas emissions. This fact is especially relevant in the semi-enclosed Mediterranean Sea, where data from the 20th century onwards show that a non-negligible temperature increase is taking place. Halimeda tuna and Padina pavonica, calcifying algae that inhabit the Mediterranean Sea, play a very important role in the western basin as carbonate sediment producers. However, these two species could be threatened by this sea surface warming since temperature affects the seawater carbonate system and influences metabolic performance in marine organisms. A short-term warming experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of temperature on these two seaweed species. Specimens from H. tuna and P. pavonica, collected in Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), were incubated and left to grow at 10 different temperatures ranging from 12 to 34ºC for 14 days. Rates of photosynthesis, respiration, and calcification were measured for both species, as well as carbonate chemistry parameters such us pH, total alkalinity, salinity and temperature (which were after used to calculate ρCO2, CO2, CO32-, HCO3- and Ωar). Therefore, the main goal of this project is to study whether the temperature enhancement affects these two macroalgae species (and how vulnerable they are) and if they respond in a different way. We are also interested in knowing whether there exists or not an association between photosynthesis (and respiration) and calcification in each species and which is the thermal range of both species.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Núria Marbà, Iris Hendriks
Thesis Institute: Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB)

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology