Grazing experiment 7: Cell size measurements of low-high pCO2 acclimated Rhodomonas (E Hux Response to pCO2 project)

Data Type: experimental
Version Date: 2016-12-14

» Planktonic interactions in a changing ocean: Biological responses of Emiliania huxleyi to elevated pCO2 and their effects on microzooplankton (E Hux Response to pCO2)
Olson, Brady M.Western Washington University (WWU)Principal Investigator
Love, BrookeWestern Washington University (WWU)Co-Principal Investigator
Strom, SuzanneWestern Washington University (WWU)Co-Principal Investigator
Still, Kelly AnnWestern Washington University (WWU)Student
Copley, NancyWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager

Dataset Description

Related Reference: 
Still, Kelly Ann, Microzooplankton grazing, growth and gross growth efficiency are affected by pCO2 induced changes in phytoplankton biology. (Masters Thesis) Western Washington University.

Acquisition Description

The phytoplankton Rhodomonas sp. CCMP 755 was grown semi-continuously in atmosphere controlled chambers at three different CO2 treatment concentrations; Ambient (400ppmv), Moderate (750ppmv), and High (1000ppmv). Cultures were diluted daily starting day 4 with pre-equilibrated media containing f/50 nutrients. On days 10 and 16, Rhodomonas cells from the treatments were mounted live on a microscope slide and 50 cells from each treatment replicate were imaged using RSImage software under 400X magnification on an Olympus CHA microscope. ImageJ software was used to measure Rhodomonas length and width. Rhodomonas cells are described as having a prolate spheroid shape. The volume was calculated using: Vprolate(µm3) =(4/3)πa2b. Where a=1/2 width and b=1/2 length of the Rhodomonas cell.

Processing Description

These data are unprocessed cell sizes as calculated above.

BCO-DMO Processing Notes:
- added conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
- modified parameter names to conform with BCO-DMO naming conventions
- combined day 10 and day 16 data
- added day column

[ table of contents | back to top ]


dayexperiment day day
expt_day_treatment_rep_cell_numbersample identifier: individual cell measured: experiment day_pCO2 level_replicate_cell number unitless
lengthcell length micometers
widthcell width micometers
volumecell volume micometers

[ table of contents | back to top ]


Dataset-specific Instrument Name
Olympus CHA microscope
Generic Instrument Name
Microscope - Optical
Dataset-specific Description
Used to measure Rhodomonas cells
Generic Instrument Description
Instruments that generate enlarged images of samples using the phenomena of reflection and absorption of visible light. Includes conventional and inverted instruments. Also called a "light microscope".

[ table of contents | back to top ]



Start Date
End Date
laboratory experiments

[ table of contents | back to top ]

Project Information

Planktonic interactions in a changing ocean: Biological responses of Emiliania huxleyi to elevated pCO2 and their effects on microzooplankton (E Hux Response to pCO2)

Description from NSF award abstract:
The calcifying Haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi appears to be acutely sensitive to the rising concentration of ocean pCO2. Documented responses by E. huxleyi to elevated pCO2 include modifications to their calcification rate and cell size, malformation of coccoliths, elevated growth rates, increased organic carbon production, lowering of PIC:POC ratios, and elevated production of the active climate gas DMS. Changes in these parameters are mechanisms known to elicit alterations in grazing behavior by microzooplankton, the oceans dominant grazer functional group. The investigators hypothesize that modifications to the physiology and biochemistry of calcifying and non-calcifying Haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi in response to elevated pCO2 will precipitate alterations in microzooplankton grazing dynamics. To test this hypothesis, they will conduct controlled laboratory experiments where several strains of E. huxleyi are grown at several CO2 concentrations. After careful characterization of the biochemical and physiological responses of the E. huxleyi strains to elevated pCO2, they will provide these strains as food to several ecologically-important microzooplankton and document grazing dynamics. E. huxleyi is an ideal organism for the study of phytoplankton and microzooplankton responses to rising anthropogenic CO2, the effects of which in the marine environment are called ocean acidification; E. huxleyi is biogeochemically important, is well studied, numerous strains are in culture that exhibit variation in the parameters described above, and they are readily fed upon by ecologically important microzooplankton.

The implications of changes in microzooplankton grazing for carbon cycling, specifically CaCO3 export, DMS production, nutrient regeneration in surface waters, and carbon transfer between trophic levels are profound, as this grazing, to a large degree, regulates all these processes. E. huxleyi is a model prey organism because it is one of the most biogeochemically influential global phytoplankton. It forms massive seasonal blooms, contributes significantly to marine inorganic and organic carbon cycles, is a large producer of the climatically active gas DMS, and is a source of organic matter for trophic levels both above and below itself. The planned controlled study will increase our knowledge of the mechanisms that drive patterns of change between trophic levels, thus providing a wider array of tools necessary to understand the complex nature of ocean acidification field studies, where competing variables can confound precise interpretation.

[ table of contents | back to top ]


Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (NSF OCE)

[ table of contents | back to top ]