ARAN - Access to Research at NUI Galway

Ecophysiological studies of selected macro- and microalgae: production of organic compounds and climate change interactions

ARAN - Access to Research at NUI Galway

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dc.contributor.advisor Stengel, Dagmar
dc.contributor.author Zacharias, Merry
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-08T16:49:05Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-08T16:49:05Z
dc.date.issued 2012-03-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10379/3047
dc.description.abstract This study focused on algal ecophysiological and chemical responses of marine algae to environmental impacts, in particular, light including UV radiation, temperature and nutrients. Marine algae influence climate by affecting the global biogeochemical cycles and the energy budget through the emission of aerosols and gases. Experiments were conducted with microalgae under different irradiance, UV radiation and temperature to assess the usefulness of pigments as a good proxy for biomass indicators. Chlorophyll a (chl a) content of microalgae varied with different species and changes in temperatures, irradiances and nutrients had a significant effect. Hence, mechanisms controlling microalgal growth and physiology should be considered in assessment of primary production as quantitative analysis using pigments is hindered by intraspecific variability of cellular pigment contents due to photoacclimation. Algal metabolic compounds are released into the water contributing to the dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. Accumulation of short-term phlorotannin and mycosporine-like amino acids content in macroalgae were species specific and were influenced by temperature, light and UV radiation. The production of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in oceans is important due to its potential to drive primary production when inorganic nutrients such as nitrates are depleted. The present study showed the release of DOC from healthy cells of microalgae during their growth. Species specific variations of DOC exudation for both macro- and microalgae to temperature and light were observed. This study has also provided insights into the chemical composition and properties of fine primary marine aerosols in simulated high microalgal bloom conditions. This may have important consequences in the prediction of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) properties of marine aerosols and in the role of marine algae as a regulatory feedback mechanism via biogenic aerosol production. Marine algae, therefore plays an essential role not only as indicators of climate change but also by mediating global climate through their emission potentials and influencing cloud formation. en_US
dc.subject Macroalga en_US
dc.subject Microalgae en_US
dc.subject Organic compounds en_US
dc.subject Climate change interactions en_US
dc.subject Botany and Plant Science en_US
dc.subject Natural Sciences en_US
dc.title Ecophysiological studies of selected macro- and microalgae: production of organic compounds and climate change interactions en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.funder EPA en_US
dc.contributor.funder Ireland en_US
dc.local.note Algal-environment interactions are complex and recent research has focused on algal physiological and chemical responses to environmental impacts, in particular climate change. As part of a large scale EPA climate change research programme, a series of algal life cycle and environmental response and emission experiments were conducted to produce parameterisations of primary production in the ocean model. Recent field experiments have shown the emission of significant concentrations of organic matter (iodocarbons and volatile organic compounds) from marine algae which are of significance in marine aerosol formation and therefore have a direct effect on the earth¿s radiation budget. Algal metabolic stress compounds are released in potentially large quantities. These stress compounds contribute to the dissolved organic matter pool and in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Clouds of liquid water droplets form only in the presence of CCN. Organic matter can enhance the cloud droplet concentration and is therefore an important component of the aerosol-cloud-climate feedback involving marine biota. A series of experiments were conducted to produce marine aerosols from bubbles artificially generated in a water tank using seawater with selected cultures of microalgae. The aerosol samples were analysed by a series of techniques, including HNMR spectroscopy. Additionally, emissions of iodocarbons and different forms of iodine, including iodine from macroalgae and microalgae were investigated. Analysisof dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in seawater and culture media of micro- and macroalgal species were also carried out. en_US
dc.local.final Yes en_US

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