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Spilling, Kristian; Paul, Allanah J; Virkkala, Niklas; Hastings, Tom; Lischka, Silke; Stuhr, Annegret; Bermúdez Monsalve, Rafael; Czerny, Jan; Boxhammer, Tim; Schulz, Kai Georg; Ludwig, Andrea; Riebesell, Ulf (2016): KOSMOS Finland 2012 mesocosm study: primary production and respiration. Finnish Environment Institute, PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Spilling, K et al. (2016): Ocean acidification decreases plankton respiration: evidence from a mesocosm experiment. Biogeosciences, 13(16), 4707-4719,

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Anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are reducing the pH in the world's oceans. The plankton community is a key component driving biogeochemical fluxes, and the effect of increased CO2 on plankton is critical for understanding the ramifications of ocean acidification on global carbon fluxes. We determined the plankton community composition and measured primary production, respiration rates and carbon export (defined here as carbon sinking out of a shallow, coastal area) during an ocean acidification experiment. Mesocosms (~ 55 m3) were set up in the Baltic Sea with a gradient of CO2 levels initially ranging from ambient (~ 240 µatm), used as control, to high CO2 (up to ~ 1330 µatm). The phytoplankton community was dominated by dinoflagellates, diatoms, cyanobacteria and chlorophytes, and the zooplankton community by protozoans, heterotrophic dinoflagellates and cladocerans. The plankton community composition was relatively homogenous between treatments. Community respiration rates were lower at high CO2 levels. The carbon-normalized respiration was approximately 40 % lower in the high CO2 environment compared with the controls during the latter phase of the experiment. We did not, however, detect any effect of increased CO2 on primary production. This could be due to measurement uncertainty, as the measured total particular carbon (TPC) and combined results presented in this special issue suggest that the reduced respiration rate translated into higher net carbon fixation. The percent carbon derived from microscopy counts (both phyto- and zooplankton), of the measured total particular carbon (TPC) decreased from ~ 26 % at t0 to ~ 8 % at t31, probably driven by a shift towards smaller plankton (< 4 µm) not enumerated by microscopy. Our results suggest that reduced respiration lead to increased net carbon fixation at high CO2. However, the increased primary production did not translate into increased carbon export, and did consequently not work as a negative feedback mechanism for increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Related to:
Paul, Allanah J; Schulz, Kai Georg; Achterberg, Eric Pieter; Hellemann, Dana; Nausch, Monika; Boxhammer, Tim; Bach, Lennart Thomas; Trense, Yves (2016): KOSMOS Finland 2012 mesocosm study: carbonate chemistry, particulate and dissolved matter pools, and phytoplankton community composition using marker pigments (CHEMTAX). PANGAEA,
Latitude: 59.858330 * Longitude: 23.258330
Date/Time Start: 2012-06-19T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2012-08-04T00:00:00
KOSMOS_2012_Tvaerminne * Latitude: 59.858330 * Longitude: 23.258330 * Date/Time: 2012-06-12T00:00:00 * Method/Device: Mesocosm experiment (MESO)
Primary production was determined by measuring incorporation of 14C over 24 h incubation.Respiration was measure as decreasing O2 by an optical O2 sensor over 48 h.
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
1DATE/TIMEDate/TimeSpilling, KristianGeocode
2Day of experimentDOEdaySpilling, Kristian
3Mesocosm labelMeso labelSpilling, Kristian
4PhasePhaseSpilling, Kristian
5Primary production, carbon assimilation (24 hr.), integratedPP24 intmmol/m2/daySpilling, Kristian
6Respiration rate, oxygenResp O2µmol/l/daySpilling, Kristian
1218 data points

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