Changes in Microbial Communities Associated with the Sea Anemone Anemonia viridis in a Natural pH Gradient
- 851 Downloads
Ocean acidification, resulting from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, is a pervasive stressor that can affect many marine organisms and their symbionts. Studies which examine the host physiology and microbial communities have shown a variety of responses to the ocean acidification process. Recently, several studies were conducted based on field experiments, which take place in natural CO2 vents, exposing the host to natural environmental conditions of varying pH. This study examines the sea anemone Anemonia viridis which is found naturally along the pH gradient in Ischia, Italy, with an aim to characterize whether exposure to pH impacts the holobiont. The physiological parameters of A. viridis (Symbiodinium density, protein, and chlorophyll a+c concentration) and its microbial community were monitored. Although reduction in pH was seen to have had an impact on composition and diversity of associated microbial communities, no significant changes were observed in A. viridis physiology, and no microbial stress indicators (i.e., pathogens, antibacterial activity, etc.) were detected. In light of these results, it appears that elevated CO2 does not have a negative influence on A. viridis that live naturally in the site. This suggests that natural long-term exposure and dynamic diverse microbial communities may contribute to the acclimation process of the host in a changing pH environment.
KeywordsMicrobial Community Ocean Acidification Symbiodinium Cell Symbiodinium Density Coral Pathogen
The work was partially supported by the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation grant no. 2006318 to EB and by the Israel Science Foundation 09/328 to MF. This project was also partially funded by a grant (PH-MICROB) from the Association of European Marine Biology Laboratory (ASSEMBLE) to EB and DM. Partial contribution was also provided by the European Project “Mediterranean Sea Acidification under a changing climate” (MedSeA; grant agreement 265103). Thanks are due to all collaborators from Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn” for their help during the fieldwork.
- 1.Caldeira K, Wickett ME (2005) Ocean model predictions of chemistry changes from carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and ocean. Geophys Res 110Google Scholar
- 5.IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007. www.ipcc.ch.
- 10.Kuffner BI, Andersson JA, Jokiel LP, Rodgers SK, Mackenize TF (2007) Decreases abundance of crustose coralline algae due to ocean acidification. Nature 1:114–117Google Scholar
- 20.Meron D, Rodolfo-Metalpa R, Cunning R, Baker AC, Fine M, Banin E (2012) Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. ISME J. doi: 0.1038/ismej.2012.19Google Scholar
- 26.Jeffrey S, Humphrey G (1975) New spectrophotometry equations for determining Chl a, b, c1, c2 in higher plants, algae and natural phytoplankton. Biochem Physiol Pflanzen 167:191–194Google Scholar
- 27.McGuire M, Szmant A (1997) Time course of physiological responses to NH4+ enrichment by a coral-zooxanthellae symbiosis. Proc 8th Int Coral Reef Symp Panama 1:909–914Google Scholar
- 29.Stambler N, Dubinsky Z (1987) Energy relationships between Anemonia sulcata and its endosymbiotic zooxanthellae. Symbiosis 3:233–248Google Scholar
- 32.Towanda T (2008) Effects of CO2-induced acidification on the intertidal sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima (Cnidaria: Anthozoa) and its algal symbiont Symbiodinium muscatinei (Dinomastigota: Dinophyceae). Unpublished MSc Thesis, Evergreen State College, Washington, 42ppGoogle Scholar
- 36.Harder T, Lau S, Dobretsov S, Fang T, Qian P (2003) A distinctive epibiotic bacterial community on the soft coral Dendronephthya sp. and antibacterial activity of coral tissue extracts suggest a chemical mechanism against bacterial epibiosis. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 43:337–347PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 59.Al-Horani FA, Al-Moghrabi SM, de Beer D (2003) The mechanism of calcification and its relation to photosynthesis and respiration in the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis. Mar Biol 142:419–426Google Scholar
- 60.Furla P, Bénazet-Tambutté S, Jaubert J, Allemand D (1998) Functional polarity of the tentacle of the sea anemone Anemonia viridis: role in inorganic carbon acquisition. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 274:R303–R310Google Scholar