Carbon emission associated with respiration and calcification of nine gastropod species from the intertidal rocky shore of Western Europe
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- Tagliarolo, M., Clavier, J., Chauvaud, L. et al. Mar Biol (2013) 160: 2891. doi:10.1007/s00227-013-2279-4
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Intertidal rocky shores are characterized by vertical zonation that results from the interplay between environmental conditions, organism physiology, and species interactions. Metabolism of intertidal organisms is highly variable between species and it changes with vertical position along the intertidal gradient. The present study aimed to quantify the carbon metabolism of nine intertidal rocky shore gastropods, in order to clarify their respective roles in carbon production during emersion and immersion. The influences of monthly temperature variation and tidal level were tested for each species. Analyses were performed in the laboratory using the infrared gas analyzer method for measuring aerial respiration rates, and the dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity technique for measuring aquatic respiration rate and calcification. Hourly carbon fluxes were calculated for the mean annual temperature of 13 °C measured in both air and underwater in the study area. Respiration rates were similar for emersion (8–25 μmol CO2 g AFDW−1 h−1) and immersion (10–23 μmol DIC g AFDW−1 h−1). For all species, underwater respiration fluxes were more influenced by monthly temperature variation than by air fluxes, probably as an adaptation to the rapid changes occurring during emersion. Calcification was an important factor influencing annual carbon fluxes for all studied species; every species showed different calcification rates according to its size and position on the intertidal zone. Annual carbon emissions were calculated using the mean immersion/emersion time of each species. Intertidal gastropod carbon emission was primarily influenced by body biomass and their vertical position within the intertidal zone.