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Combined Effects of Drift Macroalgal Bloom and Warming on Occurrence and Intensity of Diel-Cycling Hypoxia in a Eutrophic Coastal Lagoon

Abstract

Recently, eutrophication-induced macroalgal bloom and elevating temperature caused by climate change have become major threats to benthic organisms by causing coastal hypoxia. However, combined effects of drift macroalgae and warming on the occurrence and intensity of hypoxia are not well understood, although these anthropogenic stressors have co-occurred. We conducted 10 seasonally replicated 7-day algal enclosure/exclosure experiments at a shallow coastal zone in the eutrophic Nakaumi Lagoon, western Japan, to evaluate the combined effects of drift algae and water warming on occurrence and intensity of diel-cycling hypoxia. Experimental units were 1 × 1 m plots of the sandy bottom fenced within 1 m height with plastic mesh that excluded or included drift algae, with automated dissolved oxygen (DO) sensors deployed at the sediment surface. DO fluctuated over a diel cycle for both algal treatments, and algal presence and elevated temperature additively amplified the diel DO cycle. Algal presence and elevated temperature synergistically increased the occurrence and intensity of diel-cycling hypoxia. The occurrence of hypoxia, including anoxia, increased non-linearly in the presence of algae when mean water temperature exceeded ~ 25 °C, whereas such drastic increase in the hypoxia occurrence was not observed in the absence of algae. Furthermore, the daily minimum DO declined more steeply with warming under algal presence than the absence of algae. These results suggest that coastal areas in the lagoon are now seriously threatened by simultaneous progressions of eutrophication linking to algal bloom and global warming.

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Acknowledgements

We thank members of the Tottori Environmental Sanitation Research Center for assistance with field work. We also thank the Research Center for Coastal Lagoon Environments of Shimane University for the use of their facilities. Two anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments on preliminary drafts of the manuscript. This research was supported in part by the Center Project in NIES to KY (No. 1112AF001). We dedicate this paper to the memory of Seiji Miyawaki, 1947–2013.

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Correspondence to Yasushi Miyamoto.

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Communicated by Masahiro Nakaoka

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Miyamoto, Y., Nakano, T., Yamada, K. et al. Combined Effects of Drift Macroalgal Bloom and Warming on Occurrence and Intensity of Diel-Cycling Hypoxia in a Eutrophic Coastal Lagoon. Estuaries and Coasts 42, 494–503 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-018-0484-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-018-0484-6

Keywords

  • Diel-cycling hypoxia
  • Drift algae
  • Eutrophication
  • Global warming
  • Synergistic effect