A C-CAN listserv discussion on relationship between OA and microbial impacts, HABs
C-CAN steering committee member Ian Jefferds began the discussion, noting the importance of considering microbial impacts to marine carbonate chemistry in the discussion of OA. He introduced the group to microbiologist Linda Rhodes, NOAA, who serves on the Whidbey Island Marine Resources Committee.
Linda chimed in: Our recent work in Puget Sound indicates a link between changes in microbial abundances and pH, & this is probably a result of seasonal fluctuations in primary & heterotrophic production. This could mean that microbes play a larger role in pH changes in Puget Sound than open coastal areas. (A caveat: our work is not directly connected to OA because OA has a definition limited to pH changes asociated with increased CO2 uptake by oceans.) While there has been plenty of attention paid to the effects of OA on microbial communities (& downstream effects on food webs), less attention has been paid to the potential effect of microbes on OA, either potentiating or ameliorating OA’s impacts. Most of the latter work seems to focus on engineering CO2 sinks, e.g., fertilizing phytoplankton blooms, rather than determining the ecosystem role of microbes in OA.
Professor of Marine Environmental Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Southern California