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Ocean acidification and marine trophic dynamics: investigating macromolecular changes in Antarctic phytoplankton in high CO2 waters

Project Member(s): Petrou, K., Ralph, P.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Synchrotron Research Program (Australian Synchrotron Beamline)

Start year: 2015

Summary: In the last 150 years, manmade CO2 has increased ocean acidity by more than 30% with predictions of a 300% rise by 2100. Cold, polar waters will be amongst the earliest and most severely affected by increased CO2. Using FTIR microscpectroscopy we will characterise the macromolecular composition of Antarctic phytoplankton communities acclimated to a range of CO2 concentrations. Understanding changes in phytoplankton macromolecular composition will provide new information on the nutritional value of phytoplankton communities in a high CO2 world, bringing with it a new understanding on the impacts of climate change on marine biogeochemical cycling and Antarctic food webs.

FOR Codes: Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Microbial Ecology, Ecosystem Function, Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. climate related), Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity, Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified, Ecosystem adaptation to climate change