Hi pH-IVEProject reference: 331910
Funded under :
Historical and current pHytoplankton interactions with viruses: Emiliania huxleyi case study
Total cost:EUR 221 606,4
EU contribution:EUR 221 606,4
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: "Intra-European fellowships for career development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
The major problem of the global ecology is the abrupt increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in Earth's atmosphere. As one of the most critical effects of burning fossil carbon by human action is the rapid acidification of the oceans. Indeed the CO2 diffuses into the surface layers of the global ocean, including causing a significant decrease in pH and carbonate ion (CO3-). These acidic conditions make biomineralization of calcareous shell increasingly difficult, threatening biodiversity with extinction of calcifying plankton ecosystems, with all the brutal feedback effects on regional and global climate. In particular, coccolithophores, haptophytes microalgae covered with small calcareous scales occur today ~30% of pelagic carbonates, a central process of the carbon cycle between the different compartments of the biosphere. How will coccolithophores react to abrupt climate changes? More our understanding of how biodiversity will respond to abrupt climate changes is limited by a fundamental lack of understanding of eukaryotic ocean biodiversity, and rates of biodiversity change. This project aims to understand the complexity and rate of adaptation in Emiliania huxleyi, a dominant coccolithophore in modern oceans, through the study of its ecological distribution and genetic diversity in space and time. The study takes into account viruses that are fundamentally associated with E. huxleyi life history, regulating population dynamics, representing a significant biotic stress factor with dramatic effects on phytoplankton biodiversity. Metabarcoding methods will be applied in contrasting environments in the North Atlantic Ocean through series of historical samples dating from 1960. The overall goal of this study is to understand genetic adaptabilities in a key functional assemblage of the pelagic ecosystem; abilities that could enable organisms to adapt and survive in multi-stress environments, virus infection and increasing acidification of oceanic water masses.
EU contribution: EUR 221 606,4
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