Title

Predicting the Future of Our Oceans Using Cyanobacteria (Synechococcus): How Ocean Acidification May Impact Our Primary Producers

Description/Abstract

Synechococcus is a unicellular, photosynthetic, marine cyanobacteria that is found globally in temperate to tropical regions and is capable of living in conditions of variable salinity and light intensity. These microscopic organisms can provide bioeconomic services to humans, but can also negatively impact us in several ways. To further understand how these species react to our changing climate, we aimed to research what other conditions this species can tolerate. We subjected Synechococcus to two contrasting pH levels by manipulating the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to test the cyanobacterium’s survivability and exponential growth through CO2 bubbling. Biomass was obtained using in vivo fluorescence to determine the effect on growth rates, and pH was recorded to ensure consistency within the two treatments. We concluded that no significance was found between the ambient air and elevated CO2 treatments. This outcome may be the result of a shorter experiment time, since other similar experiments are conducted throughout several generations, but leaves the opportunity to further explore this species’ threshold to changes in ocean acidity as well as rising temperatures.

Presenting Author Name/s

Nichole Leach, Emalee Bennett, Destiny Blow

Faculty Advisor

Anna Tansik

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Marine Biology

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons, Atrium

Start Date

2-8-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

2-8-2020 12:30 PM

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Feb 8th, 8:00 AM Feb 8th, 12:30 PM

Predicting the Future of Our Oceans Using Cyanobacteria (Synechococcus): How Ocean Acidification May Impact Our Primary Producers

Learning Commons, Atrium

Synechococcus is a unicellular, photosynthetic, marine cyanobacteria that is found globally in temperate to tropical regions and is capable of living in conditions of variable salinity and light intensity. These microscopic organisms can provide bioeconomic services to humans, but can also negatively impact us in several ways. To further understand how these species react to our changing climate, we aimed to research what other conditions this species can tolerate. We subjected Synechococcus to two contrasting pH levels by manipulating the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) to test the cyanobacterium’s survivability and exponential growth through CO2 bubbling. Biomass was obtained using in vivo fluorescence to determine the effect on growth rates, and pH was recorded to ensure consistency within the two treatments. We concluded that no significance was found between the ambient air and elevated CO2 treatments. This outcome may be the result of a shorter experiment time, since other similar experiments are conducted throughout several generations, but leaves the opportunity to further explore this species’ threshold to changes in ocean acidity as well as rising temperatures.