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The morphological response of Emiliania huxleyi to seawater carbonate chemistry changes; an inter-strain comparison


, : The morphological response of Emiliania huxleyi to seawater carbonate chemistry changes; an inter-strain comparison. Journal of Nannoplankton Research 32.1

Four strains of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi (RCC1212, RCC1216, RCC1238, RCC1256) were grown in dilute batch culture at four CO2 levels ranging from approximately 200 mu atm to -1200 mu atm. Coccolith morphology was analyzed based on scanning electron micrographs. Three of the four strains did not exhibit a change in morphology over the CO2 range tested. One strain (RCC1256) displayed an increase in the percentage of malformed coccoliths with increasing CO2 concentration. We conclude that the sensitivity of the coccolith-shaping machinery to carbonate chemistry changes is strain-specific Although it has been shown before that carbonate chemistry related changes in growth- and calcification rate are strain-specific, there seems to be no consistent correlation between coccolith morphology and growth or calcification rate. We did not observe an increase in the percentage of incomplete coccoliths in RCC1256, indicating that the coccolith-shaping machinery per se is affected by acidification and not the signalling pathway that produces the stop signal for coccolith growth.

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