The response of nematodes to deep-sea CO2 sequestration : a quantile regression approach
Fleeger, John W.
Johnson, David S.
Carman, K. R.
Weisenhorn, P. B.
Barry, James P.
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KeywordCarbon dioxide; Nematode body size and shape; Sediment vertical profile; Monterey Canyon; Quantile regression
One proposed approach to ameliorate the effects of global warming is sequestration of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the deep sea. To evaluate the environmental impact of this approach, we exposed the sediment-dwelling fauna at the mouth of the Monterey Submarine Canyon (3262 m) and a site on the nearby continental rise (3607 m) to CO2- rich water. We measured meiobenthic nematode population and community metrics after ~30-day exposures along a distance gradient from the CO2 source and with sediment depth to infer the patterns of mortality. We also compared the nematode response with that of harpacticoid copepods. Nematode abundance, average sediment depth, tail-group composition, and length: width ratio did not vary with distance from the CO2 source. However, quantile regression showed that nematode length and diameter increased in close proximity to the CO2 source in both experiments. Further, the effects of CO2 exposure and sediment depth (nematodes became more slender at one site, but larger at the other, with increasing depth in the sediment) varied with body size. For example, the response of the longest nematodes differed from those of average length. We propose that nematode body length and diameter increases were induced by lethal exposure to CO2-rich water and that nematodes experienced a high rate of mortality in both experiments. In contrast, copepods experienced high mortality rates in only one experiment suggesting that CO2 sequestration effects are taxon specific.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2010. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 57 (2010): 696-707, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2010.03.003.
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