Experimental phases are over!

Ellisolandia elongata ‘mimic’ project is over. Both natural and artificial reefs (‘mimic’) have been exposed to control and high pCO2 conditions (Fig.1).
Figure 1. Images of MedClimaLizers laboratory during the exposure of natural and ‘mimic’ reefs under control and high pCO2 conditions

After one month of exposure to high pCO2 conditions, part of the natural and all artificial reefs have been sampled (Fig.2); the system set-up has been modified for hosting only natural reefs exposed for 12 days to high pCO2 conditions and increased temperature (+2.1 °C)(Fig.3).

Figure 2. Sampling after the first experimental phase

Figure 3. E. elongata natural reefs exposed to control, high CO2 conditions and increased temperature

At the beginning and at the end of both experimental phases, ‘incubation chambers’ for measuring changes in photosynthetic and calcification activities of the E. elongata, under light and dark conditions, have been performed (Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Incubation chambers (dark and light conditions); pH, temperature and O2 measurements before and after the exposure.

What next?
All samples will be transferred to Pavia University for studying the associated fauna of natural and ‘mimic’ reefs. Once sorted, some of the taxa will be send to expert taxonomists involved in the project.
E. elongata reef in Santa Teresa Bay will be sampled in February, April, and June for continuing the one-year study on natural reefs.
Chemical- physical monitoring of seawater in the site will be carried out until June with weekly sampling and Night labs (24h of seawater monitoring).

Preliminary results of the project will be presented to:
– International Exhibition and Conference for Aquaculture, algaculture, vertical farming and fishing industry (15-16 February, Pordenone, IT);
– 4th World Symposium on the Effects of Climate Changes on the World Oceans (4-8th June 2018, Washington DC, USA).