Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
Ocean Sci., 15, 1159–1175, 2019
Ocean Sci., 15, 1159–1175, 2019

Research article 28 Aug 2019

Research article | 28 Aug 2019

CO2 effects on diatoms: a synthesis of more than a decade of ocean acidification experiments with natural communities

Lennart Thomas Bach and Jan Taucher

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Cited articles

Alvarez-Fernandez, S., Bach, L. T., Taucher, J., Riebesell, U., Sommer, U., Aberle, N., Brussaard, C. P. D., and Boersma, M.: Plankton responses to ocean acidification: The role of nutrient limitation, Prog. Oceanogr., 165, 11–18,, 2018. 
Armbrust, E. V.: The life of diatoms in the world's oceans, Nature, 459, 185–192,, 2009. 
Assmy, P., Smetacek, V., Montresor, M., Klaas, C., Henjes, J., Strass, V. H., Arrieta, J. M., Bathmann, U., Berg, G. M., Breitbarth, E., Cisewski, B., Friedrichs, L., Fuchs, N., Herndl, G. J., Jansen, S., Kragefsky, S., Latasa, M., Peeken, I., Rottgers, R., Scharek, R., Schuller, S. E., Steigenberger, S., Webb, A., and Wolf-Gladrow, D.: Thick-shelled, grazer-protected diatoms decouple ocean carbon and silicon cycles in the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110, 20633–20638,, 2013. 
Azam, F., Fenchel, T., Field, J. G., Gray, J. S., Meyer-Reil, L. A., and Thingstad, F.: The Ecological Role of Water-Column Microbes in the Sea, Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser., 10, 257–263,, 1983. 
Bach, L. T., Riebesell, U., and Schulz, K. G.: Distinguishing between the effects of ocean acidification and ocean carbonation in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, Limnol. Oceanogr., 56, 2040–2050,, 2011. 
Short summary
Diatoms are a group of phytoplankton species responsible for ~ 25 % of primary production on Earth. Ocean acidification (OA) could influence diatoms but the key question is if they become more or less important within marine food webs. We synthesize OA experiments with natural communities and found that diatoms are more likely to be positively than negatively affected by high CO2 and larger species may profit in particular. This has important implications for ecosystem services diatoms provide.