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The Impacts of Business-As-Usual Projected Altered Temperature,
Salinity and pCO2 on Filamentous Cyanobacteria of the Baltic Sea

Karlberg, M. and Wulff, A. 2013. Impact of temperature and species interaction on filamentous cyanobacteria may be more important than salinity and increased pCO2 levels. Marine Biology 160: 2063-2072.
Being curious about the ramifications of potential future increases in the air's CO2 content on the productivity of two dominating filamentous cyanobacteria species of the Baltic Sea (Nodularia spumigena and a mix of Aphanizomenon sp.) during the summer bloom of the Baltic Proper, authors Karlberg and Wulff (2013) set out to experimentally determine their responses to changes in that region's environment that were predicted to occur in response to the IPCC's business-as-usual A1FI scenario described by Meehl et al. (2007): a temperature increase of 4°C, an atmospheric pCO2 increase from 380 to 960 ppm, and a reduction in salinity from 7 to 4. And while working in the laboratory, Karlberg and Wulff thus measured numerous responses of the two species of cyanobacteria - growing both separately and together - to different combinations of these various environmental changes.

Based on their analysis, the two researchers report that (1) "increased temperature, from 12 to 16°C, had a positive effect on the biovolume and photosynthetic activity of both species," that (2) "compared when growing separately, the biovolume of each species was lower when grown together," and that (3) "decreased salinity, from 7 to 4, and elevated levels of pCO2, from 380 to 960 ppm, had no effect on the biovolume, but on [the photosynthetic activity] (Fv/Fm) of N. spumigena with higher Fv/Fm in salinity 7."

Karlberg and Wulff say their results suggest that "the projected A1FI scenario might be beneficial for the two species dominating the extensive summer blooms in the Baltic Proper." But they caution that their results "further stress the importance of studying interactions between species." And they thus conclude by stating that "long-term studies together with multifactorial and mesocosm/field experiments are needed to elucidate the future impact of climate change effects on Baltic filamentous cyanobacteria.".

Additional References
Meehl, G.A., Stocker, T.F., Collins, W.D., Friedlingstein, P., Gaye, A.T., Gregory, J.M., Kitoh, A., Knutti, R., Murphy, J.M., Noda, A., Raper, S.C.B., Watterson, I.G., Weaver, A.J. and Zhao, Z.-C. 2007. In: IPCC Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis: Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Solomon, S., Qin, D., Manning, M., Chen, Z., Marquis, M., Averyt, K.B., Tignor, M. and Miller, H.L., Eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. 747-846.

Archived 27 November 2013