Effects of CO2 enrichment on photosynthesis, growth, and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii
2012 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 2, no 10, 2620-2630 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Seagrass ecosystems are expected to benefit from the global increase in CO2 in the ocean because the photosynthetic rate of these plants may be C-i-limited at the current CO2 level. As well, it is expected that lower external pH will facilitate the nitrate uptake of seagrasses if nitrate is cotransported with H+ across the membrane as in terrestrial plants. Here, we investigate the effects of CO2 enrichment on both carbon and nitrogen metabolism of the seagrass Zostera noltii in a mesocosm experiment where plants were exposed for 5 months to two experimental CO2 concentrations (360 and 700 ppm). Both the maximum photosynthetic rate (Pm) and photosynthetic efficiency (alpha) were higher (1.3- and 4.1-fold, respectively) in plants exposed to CO2-enriched conditions. On the other hand, no significant effects of CO2 enrichment on leaf growth rates were observed, probably due to nitrogen limitation as revealed by the low nitrogen content of leaves. The leaf ammonium uptake rate and glutamine synthetase activity were not significantly affected by increased CO2 concentrations. On the other hand, the leaf nitrate uptake rate of plants exposed to CO2-enriched conditions was fourfold lower than the uptake of plants exposed to current CO2 level, suggesting that in the seagrass Z. noltii nitrate is not cotransported with H+ as in terrestrial plants. In contrast, the activity of nitrate reductase was threefold higher in plant leaves grown at high-CO2 concentrations. Our results suggest that the global effects of CO2 on seagrass production may be spatially heterogeneous and depend on the specific nitrogen availability of each system. Under a CO2 increase scenario, the natural levels of nutrients will probably become limiting for Z. noltii. This potential limitation becomes more relevant because the expected positive effect of CO2 increase on nitrate uptake rate was not confirmed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 2, no 10, 2620-2630 p.
CO2 enrichment, glutamine synthetase, growth, nitrate reductase, nitrogen uptake, photosynthesis, seagrasses
Environmental Sciences Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87130DOI: 10.1002/ece3.333ISI: 000312451300023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-87130DiVA: diva2:601476