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See detailCarbon and nitrogen flows during a bloom of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi: Modelling a mesocosm experiment
Joassin, Pascal ULg; Delille, Bruno ULg; Soetaert, Karline et al

in Journal of Marine Systems (2011), 85

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during experimental blooms of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi induced inmesocosms over a period of 23 ... [more ▼]

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during experimental blooms of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi induced inmesocosms over a period of 23 days. The model describes carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) cycling through E. huxleyi and the microbial loop, and computes pH and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) from dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA). The main innovations are: 1) the representation of E. huxleyi dynamics using an unbalanced growthmodel in carbon and nitrogen, 2) the gathering of formulations describing typical processes involved in the export of carbon such as primary production, calcification, cellular dissolved organic carbon (DOC) excretion, transparent exopolymer (TEP) formation and viral lyses, and 3) an original and validated representation of the calcification process as a function of the net primary production with a modulation by the intra-cellular N:C ratio mimicking the effect of nutrients limitation on the onset of calcification. It is shown that this new mathematical formulation of calcification provides a better representation of the dynamics of TA, DIC and calcification rates derived from experimental data compared to classicaly used formulations (e.g. function of biomass or of net primary production without anymodulation term). In a first step, the model has been applied to the simulations of present pCO2 conditions. It adequately reproduces the observations for chemical and biological variables and provides an overall view of carbon and nitrogen dynamics. Carbon and nitrogen budgets are derived from the model for the different phases of the bloom, highlighting three distinct phases, reflecting the evolution of the cellular C:N ratio and the interaction between hosts and viruses. During the first phase, inorganic nutrients are massively consumed by E. huxleyi increasing its biomass. Uptakes of carbon and nitrogen are maintained at a constant ratio. The second phase is triggered by the exhaustion of phosphate (PO4 3−). Uptake of carbon and nitrogen being uncoupled, the cellular C:N ratio of E. huxleyi increases. This stimulates the active release of DOC, acting as precursors for TEP. The third phase is characterised by an enhancement of the phytoplankton mortality due to viral lysis. A huge amount of DOC has been accumulated in the mesocosm. [less ▲]

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See detailA mathematical modelling of bloom of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in a mesocosm experiment
Joassin, Pascal ULg; Delille, Bruno ULg; Soetaert, Karline et al

Poster (2008, July 23)

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during ... [more ▼]

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical variables and processes observed during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore. This bloom was induced in a mesocosm experiment during which the ecosystem development was followed over a period of 23-days through changes in various biogeochemical parameters such as inorganic nutrients (nitrate, ammonium and phosphate), total alkalinity (TA), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), dissolved oxygen (O2), photosynthetic pigments, particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), Transparent Exopolymer Particles (TEP), primary production, and calcification. This dynamic model is based on unbalanced algal growth and balanced bacterial growth. In order to adequately reproduce the observations, the model includes an explicit description of phosphorus cycling, calcification, TEP production and an enhanced mortality due to viral lysis. The model represented carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes observed in the mesocosms. Modelled profiles of algal biomass and final concentrations of DIC and nutrients are in agreement with the experimental observations. [less ▲]

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See detailA dynamic model of an experimental bloom of coccolithophores Emiliania huxleyi
Joassin, Pascal ULg; Borges, Alberto ULg; Chou, Lei et al

Conference (2007, November 27)

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical events observed during an experimentally induced bloom of coccolithophores Emiliania huxleyi. This bloom occurred in a mesocosm experiment ... [more ▼]

A dynamic model has been developed to represent biogeochemical events observed during an experimentally induced bloom of coccolithophores Emiliania huxleyi. This bloom occurred in a mesocosm experiment (Bergen 2001 experiment) during which ecosystem development was followed over a 23-days period through changes of the stocks of inorganic nutrients (nitrate, ammonium and phosphate), dissolved inorganic carbon and pCO2, O2 concentration, pigments, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen, dissolved organic carbon, the production of Transparent Exopolymeric Particles (TEP), primary production, alkalinity, calcification and particulate inorganic carbon. The dynamic model is based on unbalanced algal growth and balanced growth for bacteria as described in Van den Meersche et al. (2004). In addition, in order to adequately reproduce the observations, the model has been extended by including an explicit description of calcification, T.E.P production and an enhanced mortality due to viruses. This last process, based on a critical promiscuity between cellular hosts and viral agents, successfully contributed to reproduce the bloom extinction as observed in the mesocosm experiment. This model will be implemented in a coupled physical-biogeochemical model of the Black Sea ecosystem in the framework of the EU Sesame project and in the Gulf of Biscay in the frame of the Belgian PEACE project. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of CO2 concentration on suspended particle dynamics during a mesocosm bloom experiment (Peece II)
Engel, Anja; Bellerby, R.; Delille, Bruno ULg et al

Conference (2007, April)

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See detailResponse of primary production and calcification to changes of pCO(2) during experimental blooms of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi
Delille, Bruno ULg; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Zondervan, Ingrid et al

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles (2005), 19(2),

[1] Primary production and calcification in response to different partial pressures of CO2 (PCO2) ("glacial,'' "present,'' and "year 2100'' atmospheric CO2 concentrations) were investigated during a ... [more ▼]

[1] Primary production and calcification in response to different partial pressures of CO2 (PCO2) ("glacial,'' "present,'' and "year 2100'' atmospheric CO2 concentrations) were investigated during a mesocosm bloom dominated by the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. The day-to-day dynamics of net community production (NCP) and net community calcification (NCC) were assessed during the bloom development and decline by monitoring dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity ( TA), together with oxygen production and 14 C incorporation. When comparing year 2100 with glacial PCO2 conditions we observed: ( 1) no conspicuous change of net community productivity (NCPy); ( 2) a delay in the onset of calcification by 24 to 48 hours, reducing the duration of the calcifying phase in the course of the bloom; ( 3) a 40% decrease of NCC; and ( 4) enhanced loss of organic carbon from the water column. These results suggest a shift in the ratio of organic carbon to calcium carbonate production and vertical flux with rising atmospheric PCO2. [less ▲]

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See detailTesting the direct effect of CO2 concentration on a bloom of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi in mesocosm experiments
Engel, Anja; Zondervan, Ingrid; Aerts, Katrien et al

in Limnology and Oceanography (2005), 50(2), 493-507

We studied the direct effects of CO, and related changes in seawater carbonate chemistry on marine planktonic organisms in a mesocosm experiment. In nine outdoor enclosures (similar to 11 m(3) each), the ... [more ▼]

We studied the direct effects of CO, and related changes in seawater carbonate chemistry on marine planktonic organisms in a mesocosm experiment. In nine outdoor enclosures (similar to 11 m(3) each), the partial pressure of CO2 (pCO(2)) in the seawater was modified by an aeration system. The triplicate mesocosm treatments represented low (similar to 190 parts per million by volume (ppmV) CO2), present (similar to 410 ppmV CO2), and high (similar to 710 ppmV CO2) pCO(2) conditions. After initial fertilization with nitrate and phosphate a bloom dominated by the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi occurred simultaneously in all of the nine mesocosms; it was monitored over a 19-day period, The three CO2 treatments assimilated nitrate and phosphate similarly. The concentration of particulate constituents was highly variable among the replicate mesocosms, disguising direct CO2-related effects. Normalization of production rates within each treatment, however, indicated that the net specific growth rate of E. huxleyi, the rate of calcification per cell, and the elemental stoichiometry of uptake and production processes were sensitive to changes in pCO(2). This broad influence of CO2 on the E huxleyi bloom suggests that changes in CO2 concentration directly affect cell physiology with likely effects on the marine biogeochemistry. [less ▲]

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See detailAlkenone carbon isotopes during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi: Effects of CO2 concentration and production
Benthien, Albert; Riebesell, Ulf; Engel, Anja et al

Poster (2004, September 05)

The carbon isotopic composition of the C37-alkenones has been used in various paleoceanographic studies to estimate the ancient surface water CO2 concentration [CO2aq]. A number of recent culture, field ... [more ▼]

The carbon isotopic composition of the C37-alkenones has been used in various paleoceanographic studies to estimate the ancient surface water CO2 concentration [CO2aq]. A number of recent culture, field and sediment studies, however, indicate that the carbon isotopic fractionation in haptophyte algae is predominantly controlled by physiological processes and environmental factors other than the ambient [CO2aq]. The most prominent factors are algal growth rate, nutrient availability, light intensity, the carbon uptake mechanism, and the carbon source. To what extent these different factors might affect the carbon isotopic signal of alkenones ultimately preserved in the sediment is still under debate. Causes of uncertainty are the individual strenghts and weaknesses of the different methodological approaches. Culture experiments, for example, cannot perfectly recreate the sum of natural growth conditions and physical processes affecting the carbon isotopic signal in the field and its preservation in the sediment. On the other hand, core-top data represent several hundred to a couple of thousand years and therefore only reflect an average. Here, we present the first study testing the effects of [CO2aq] on the alkenone isotopic signal under natural bloom conditions in a semi-closed system. In a series of 9 floating mesocosms in a Norwegian fjord a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi was followed over a three week period. The mesocosms were covered by gas tight tents. The atmospheric and seawater pCO2 were manipulated to achieve different CO2 levels in the tent atmosphere ranging from pre-industrial (190 ppmv) to year 2100 levels (680 ppmv) as predicted by the IPCC’s report. We found that during the exponential growth phase the isotopic fractionation of alkenones decreased by 5 to 7 per mill and reached a plateau during the stationary phase. During the stationary phase the alkenone content per cell increased from 1-2 pg/cell to 6-8 pg/cell. Between the [CO2aq] treatments we observed an alkenone isotopic difference of only 2 per mill. These results indicate that changes in algal physiology and/or environmental conditions occuring during the course of an algal bloom strongly affect alkenone isotope fractionation. This effect overrides a comparatively small variation in the alkenone isotopic signal due to [CO2aq]. Implications for alkenone isotopic fractionation as a paleo-production or paleo-nutrient proxy will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailDelayed and reduced coccolithophorid calcification under elevated PCO2
Delille, Bruno ULg; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Zondervan, Ingrid et al

Poster (2004, May 10)

Numerous experiments to date have demonstrated that elevated PCO2 is detrimental to biogenic calcification rates. However, most of these experiments have been realized in batch or continuous cultures and ... [more ▼]

Numerous experiments to date have demonstrated that elevated PCO2 is detrimental to biogenic calcification rates. However, most of these experiments have been realized in batch or continuous cultures and give little information on the dynamics of calcification in natural conditions. The present work describes the development and decay of a nutrient-induced bloom of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi in a mesocosm experiment. The monitoring of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) and Total Alkalinity (TAlk) within the seawater enclosures allowed us to describe comprehensively day to day dynamics of both calcification and organic carbon production. Three atmospheric PCO2 conditions (glacial, present and next century) were simulated by bubbling CO2 mixtures, while total alkalinity was left to evolve from its present value. No conspicuous change of Net Community Production under elevated PCO2 was recorded while the production of inorganic carbon appeared to be affected in two ways. Firstly, the production rate of inorganic carbon appeared to be lowered by 40% in the next century PCO2 conditions, decreasing concomitantly the calcification to photosynthesis ratio from 0.75 (glacial conditions) to 0.45 (next century conditions). Secondly, the onset of calcification was delayed by 24~48h under elevated PCO2 conditions, reducing the overall length of calcification in the course of the bloom. These two effects would act to reduce the amount of precipitated CaCO3 by coccolithophorids in a High CO2 world [less ▲]

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See detailTransparent exopolymer particles and dissolved organic carbon production by Emiliania huxleyi exposed to different CO2 concentrations: a mesocosm experiment
Engel, Anja; Delille, Bruno ULg; Jacquet, Stéphan et al

in Aquatic Microbial Ecology (2004), 34(1), 93-104

The role of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for organic carbon partitioning under different CO2 conditions was examined during a mesocosm experiment with the ... [more ▼]

The role of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) for organic carbon partitioning under different CO2 conditions was examined during a mesocosm experiment with the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi. We designed 9 outdoor enclosures (similar to11 m(3)) to simulate CO2 concentrations of estimated 'Year 2100' (similar to710 ppm CO2), 'present' (similar to410 ppm CO2) and 'glacial' (similar to190 ppm CO2) environments, and fertilized these with nitrate and phosphate to favor bloom development. Our results showed fundamentally different TEP and DOC dynamics during the bloom. In all mesocosms, TEP concentration increased after nutrient exhaustion and accumulated steadily until the end of the study. TEP concentration was closely related to the abundance of E. huxleyi and accounted for an increase in POC concentration of 35 +/- 2 % after the onset of nutrient limitation. The production of TEP normalized to the cell Abundance of E. huxleyi was highest in the Year 2100 treatment. In contrast, DOC concentration exhibited considerable short-term fluctuations throughout the study. In all mesocosms, DOC was neither related to the abundance of E. huxleyi nor to TEP concentration. A statistically significant effect of the CO2 treatment on DOC concentration was not determined. However, during the course of the bloom, DOC concentration increased in 2 of the 3 Year 2100 mesocosms and in 1 of the present mesocosms, but in none of the glacial mesocosms. It is suggested that the observed differences between TEP and DOC were determined by their different bioavailability and that a rapid response of the microbial food web may have obscured CO2 effects on DOC production by autotrophic cells. [less ▲]

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See detailChromophoric dissolved organic matter in experimental mesocosms maintained under different pCO(2) levels
Rochelle-Newall, Emma; Delille, Bruno ULg; Frankignoulle, Michel et al

in Marine Ecology. Progress Series (2004), 272

Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) represents the optically active fraction of the bulk dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. Recent evidence pointed towards a microbial source of CDOM in the ... [more ▼]

Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) represents the optically active fraction of the bulk dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. Recent evidence pointed towards a microbial source of CDOM in the aquatic environment and led to the proposal that phytoplankton is not a direct source of CDOM, but that heterotrophic bacteria, through reprocessing of DOM of algal origin, are an important source of CDOM. In a recent experiment designed at looking at the effects of elevated pCO(2) on blooms of the coccolithophorid alga Emiliania huxleyi, we found that despite the 3 different pCO(2) levels tested (190, 414 and 714 ppm), no differences were observed in accumulation of CDOM over the 20 d of incubation. Unlike previous mesocosm experiments where. relationships between CDOM accumulation and bacterial abundance have been observed, none was observed here. These results provide some new insights into the apparent lack of effect of pCO(2) on CDOM accumulation in surface waters, and question the previously proposed mechanisms and rates of CDOM production in natural phytoplankton blooms. [less ▲]

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See detailAlkenone carbon isotopes during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi: Effects of CO2 concentration and production
Benthien, Albert; Zondervan, Ingrid; Riebesell, Ulf et al

Poster (2003, April 07)

The carbon isotopic composition of the C37-alkenones has been used in various paleoceanographic studies to estimate the ancient surface water CO2 concentration [CO2aq]. A number of recent culture, field ... [more ▼]

The carbon isotopic composition of the C37-alkenones has been used in various paleoceanographic studies to estimate the ancient surface water CO2 concentration [CO2aq]. A number of recent culture, field and sediment studies, however, indicate that the carbon isotopic fractionation in haptophyte algae is predominantly controlled by physiological processes and environmental factors other than the ambient [CO2aq]. The most prominent factors are algal growth rate, nutrient availability, light intensity, the carbon uptake mechanism (passive/active), and the carbon source (CO2aq/bicarbonate). To what extent these different factors might affect the carbon isotopic signal of alkenones ultimately preserved in the sediment is still under debate. A cause of uncertainty are the individual strenghts and weaknesses of the different methodological approaches. Culture experiments, for example, cannot perfectly recreate the sum of natural growth conditions and physical processes affecting the carbon isotopic signal in the field and its preservation in the sediment. On the other hand, core-top data represent several hundred to a couple of thousand years and therefore only reflect an average. Here, we present the first study testing the effects of [CO2aq] on the alkenone isotopic signal under natural bloom conditions in a semi-closed system. In a series of 9 floating mesocosms in a Norwegian fjord a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi was followed over a three week period. The mesocosms were covered by gas tight domes to adjust and maintain 3 different CO2 partial pressures in the tent atmosphere ranging from pre-industrial (190 ppmv) to year 2100 levels (680 ppmv) as predicted by the IPCC’s report. We found that during the exponential growth phase the isotopic fractionation of alkenones decreased by 5 to 7 per mill and reached a plateau during the stationary phase. During the stationary phase the alkenone content per cell increased from 1-2 pg/cell to 6-8 pg/cell. Between the [CO2aq] treatments we observed an alkenone isotopic difference of only 2 per mill. These results indicate that changes in algal physiology and/or environmental conditions occuring during the course of an algal bloom strongly affect alkenone isotope fractionation. This effect overrides a comparatively small variation in the alkenone isotopic signal due to [CO2aq]. Implications for alkenone isotopic fractionation as a paleo-production or paleo-nutrient proxy will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailBiological responses to CO2-related changes in seawater carbonate chemistry during a bloom of Emiliania huxleyi
Zondervan, Ingrid; Aerts, Katrien; Bellerby, Richard et al

Conference (2003, April 06)

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See detailCalcification and organic production of coccolithophorids Emiliania huxleyi under different atmospheric pCO2 in a mesocosm experiment
Delille, Bruno ULg; Harlay, Jérôme ULg; Chou, Lei et al

Poster (2003, January 07)

The response of primary production and calcification of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi to different partial pressures of CO2 (p CO2) have been investigated during a mesocosm bloom experiment in a ... [more ▼]

The response of primary production and calcification of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi to different partial pressures of CO2 (p CO2) have been investigated during a mesocosm bloom experiment in a Norwegian fjord. Glacial, present and next century atmospheric p CO2 conditions (respectively 180, 370 and 700 ppmV) have been simulated above the surface of large sea-water enclosures. If production of organic matter remains constant under elevated p CO2, the production of inorganic carbon appears to be affected in two ways. First, the beginning of calcification is delayed. Second, the production rate of inorganic carbon appears to be lowered by 40% in the future conditions, decreasing subsequently the calcification/photosynthesis ratio from 1 to 0.6. During the experiment a strong viral growth have been experienced, which have seriously depressed calcification as well. We propose the threshold of 5.10 6 cell/ml for E huxleyi virus abundance above which the production and calcification of the population of E. huxleyi are severely affected. [less ▲]

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