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Carbon absorption capacity determines the response of algal competitiveness to elevated atmospheric CO2

Citation

Zhou, Qing Shi et al. (2022), Carbon absorption capacity determines the response of algal competitiveness to elevated atmospheric CO2, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d7wm37q40

Abstract

Although many studies have focused on the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on algal growth, few studies have demonstrated how CO2 interacts with carbon absorption capacity to determine the algal competition at the population level. We conducted a pairwise competition experiment of Phormidium sp., Scenedesmus quadricauda, Chlorella vulgaris, and Synedra ulna. The results showed that when the CO2 concentration increases from 400 to 760 ppm, the competitiveness of S. quadricauda increased, the competitiveness of Phormidium sp. and C. vulgaris decreased, and the competitiveness of S. ulna was always the lowest. we constructed a model to explore whether interspecific differences in affinity and flux rate for CO2 and HCO3 could explain changes of competitiveness between algae species along the gradient of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Affinity and flux rate are the capture capacity and transport capacity of substrate, respectively, which are inversely proportional to each other. Low resource concentration is beneficial to the growth and reproduction of algae with high affinity. The simulation results showed that when the atmospheric CO2 concentration was low, species with high affinity for both CO2 and HCO3 (HCHH) had the highest competitiveness, followed by the species with high affinity for CO2 and low affinity for HCO3 (HCLH), the species with low affinity for CO2 and high affinity for HCO3 (LCHH) and the species with low affinity for both CO2 and HCO3 (LCLH); when the CO2 concentration was high, the species were ranked according to the competitive ability: LCHH > LCLH > HCHH > HCLH. Thus, with the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration, the competitive advantage changed from HCHH species to LCHH species. These results indicate the important species types contributing to water bloom under the background of increasing global atmospheric CO2, highlighting the importance of carbon absorption characteristics in understanding, predicting and regulating population dynamics and community composition of algae.

Funding

The National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31670548

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31872032

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31500340