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Heatwaves during low tide are critical for the physiological performance of intertidal macroalgae under global warming scenarios

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Heatwaves during low tide are critical for the physiological performance of intertidal macroalgae under global warming scenarios

Román Geada, Marta; Roman Del Valle, Salvador; Vázquez Otero, Maria Elsa; Souza Troncoso, Jesús; Olabarría Uzquiano, Celia
 
DATE : 2020-12-08
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER : http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2223
UNESCO SUBJECT : 24 Ciencias de la Vida ; 2417 Biología Vegetal (Botánica) ; 2510.90 Geología Marina
DOCUMENT TYPE : article

ABSTRACT :

The abundance and distribution of intertidal canopy-forming macroalgae are threatened by the increase in sea surface temperature and in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves caused by global warming. This study evaluated the physiological response of predominant intertidal macroalgae in the NW Iberian Peninsula (Bifurcaria bifurcata, Cystoseira tamariscifolia and Codium tomentosum) to increased seawater temperature during immersion and increased air temperatures during consecutive emersion cycles. We combined field mensuration and laboratory experiments in which we measured mortality, growth, maximum quantum yield and C:N content of the macroalgae. Air temperature was a critical factor in determining physiological responses and survivorship of all species, whereas high seawater temperature had sublethal effects. Cystoseira tamariscifolia suffered the greatest decreases in Fv/Fm, growth and the highest mortality under higher air temperatures, whereas C. tomentosum was the most resistant and resilient species. Two consecutive cycles of emersion under atmospheric heatwaves caused ... [+]
The abundance and distribution of intertidal canopy-forming macroalgae are threatened by the increase in sea surface temperature and in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves caused by global warming. This study evaluated the physiological response of predominant intertidal macroalgae in the NW Iberian Peninsula (Bifurcaria bifurcata, Cystoseira tamariscifolia and Codium tomentosum) to increased seawater temperature during immersion and increased air temperatures during consecutive emersion cycles. We combined field mensuration and laboratory experiments in which we measured mortality, growth, maximum quantum yield and C:N content of the macroalgae. Air temperature was a critical factor in determining physiological responses and survivorship of all species, whereas high seawater temperature had sublethal effects. Cystoseira tamariscifolia suffered the greatest decreases in Fv/Fm, growth and the highest mortality under higher air temperatures, whereas C. tomentosum was the most resistant and resilient species. Two consecutive cycles of emersion under atmospheric heatwaves caused cumulative stress in all three macroalgae, affecting the physiological performance and increasing the mortality. The potential expansion of the warm-temperate species B. bifurcata, C. tamariscifolia and C. tomentosum in the NW Iberian Peninsula in response to increasing seawater temperature may be affected by the impact of increased air temperature, especially in a region where the incidence of atmospheric heatwaves is expected to increase. [-]

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