Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3405–3412 | Cite as

The effects of light intensity and temperature on the calcification rate of Halimeda macroloba

  • Anchana PrathepEmail author
  • Ratchanee Kaewsrikhaw
  • Jaruwan Mayakun
  • Anuchit Darakrai
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


As a phototrophic organism the calcareous green alga Halimeda macroloba is considered an important source of primary production. These algae live in a range of environments and help sequester CO2 through photosynthesis and calcification in coastal marine ecosystems. This study examined the calcification rate of H. macroloba under various light (50, 500, 900, 1200 μmol photons m−2 s−1) and temperature (25, 30, 35 °C) conditions. The rates of calcification, photosynthetic inorganic carbon (Ci) uptake, and relative electron transport rate (rETR) were measured using alkalinity titration methods and pulse-amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry in an experimental setup based on observation data; additionally, a future climate change scenario was simulated. The light intensity of 500 μmol photons m−2 s−1 promoted high calcification and Ci uptake rates at all temperatures, with the highest rates at 25 °C. The very low light intensity of 50 μmol photons m−2 s−1 was not enough to stimulate plant photosynthesis and calcification. The rates of both calcification and Ci uptake were significantly lower at all temperatures when plants were subjected to a high irradiance of 1200 μmol photons m−2 s−1 than those in the other light conditions. Photosynthetic rETR seems to be dependent on light intensity, but might not reflect the high production of plants under intense light conditions. Finally, we discuss how Halimeda could contribute to CO2 sequestration in response to climate change.


Chlorophyta Halimeda macroloba Calcification Calcium carbonate Climate change Light intensity Temperature 



We thank the Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, for providing facilities for laboratory work. We are grateful for valuables suggetions and discussions from Prof. Sven Beer and Prof. Michael Borowitzka, which helped improve the manuscript and shaped up our research. 

Funding information

This research was supported by the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), under grant no. P-13-00576, and by the PTT Public Company Limited.


  1. Abel KM, Drew EA (1985) Response of Halimeda metabolism to various environmental parameters. Proceeding of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress, Tahiti, 5: 21–26Google Scholar
  2. Anderson DH, Robinson RJ (1946) Rapid electrometric determination of the alkalinity of sea water using a glass electrode. Ind Eng Chem Res 18:767–769Google Scholar
  3. Baker AC, Glynn PW, Riegl B (2008) Climate change and coral reef bleaching: an ecological assessment of long-term impacts, recovery trends and future outlook. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 80:435–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barry SC, Frazer TK, Jacoby CA (2013) Production and carbonate dynamics of Halimeda incrassata (Ellis) Lamouroux altered by Thalassia testudinum Banks and Soland ex König. J Exp Mar Biol Eco 444:73–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beach K, Walters L, Vroom P, Smith C, Coyer J, Hunter C (2003) Variability in the ecophysiology of Halimeda spp. (Chlorophyta, Bryopsidales) on Conch Reef, Florida Keys, USA. J Phycol 39:633–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beer S, Björk M, Beardall J (2014) Photosynthesis in the marine environment. Wiley Blackwell, Oxford. pp 224Google Scholar
  7. Beer S, Björk M, Gademann R, Ralph, P (2001) Measurement of photosynthetic rates in seagrasses. In: Short FT, Coles R (eds) Global seagrass research methods. Elsevier Publishing, Amsterdam. pp 183–198Google Scholar
  8. Björk M, Short F, Mcleod E., Beer S (2008) Managing seagrasses for resilience to climate change. IUCN, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  9. Borowitzka MA (1986) Physiology and biochemistry of calcification in the Chlorophyceae. In: Leadbeater B, Riding H (eds.) Biomineralization in the lower plants and animals. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 108–124Google Scholar
  10. Borowitzka MA (1987) Calcification in algae: mechanisms and the role of metabolism. CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci 6:1–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976a) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda II. The exchange of Ca2+ and the occurrence of age gradients in calcification and photosynthesis. J Exp Bot 27:846–878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976b) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda III. The sources of inorganic carbon for photosynthesis and calcification and a model of the mechanism of calcification. J Exp Bot 27:879–893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Borowitzka MA, Larkum AWD (1976c) Calcification in the green alga Halimeda IV. The action of metabolic inhibitors on photosynthesis and calcification. J Exp Bot 27:846–878CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brierley AS, Kingsford MJ (2009) Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems. Curr Biol 19:R602–R614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Byrne M (2011) Impact of ocean warming and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate life history stages: vulnerabilities and potential for persistence in a changing ocean. Oceanogr Mar Biol 49:1–42Google Scholar
  16. Chisholm JRM (2000) Calcification by crustose coralline algae on the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Limnol Oceanogr 45:1476–1484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Campbell JE, Fisch J, Langdon C, Paul VJ (2016) Increased temperature mitigates the effects of ocean acidification in calcified green algae (Halimeda spp.). Coral Reefs 35:357–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chung IK, Sondak CFA, Beardall J (2017) The future of seaweed aquaculture in a rapidly changing world. Eur J Phycol 52:495–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. de Beer D, Larkum AWD (2001) Photosynthesis and calcification in the calcifying algae Halimeda discoidea studied with microsensors. Plant Cell Environ 24:1209–1217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Doney AC, Fabry VJ, Feely RA, Kleypas JA (2009) Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problems. Annu Rev Mar Sci 1:169–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Drew EA (1983) Halimeda biomass, growth rates and sediment generation on reefs in the Central Great Barrier Reef Province. Coral Reefs 2:101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Enríquez S, Borowitzka MA (2011) The use of the fluorescence signal in studies of seagrasses and macroalgae. In: Suggett DJ, Prásil O, Borowitzka MA (eds) Chlorophyll a fluorescence in aquatic sciences: methods and applications. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 187–208Google Scholar
  23. Gao K, Aruga Y, Asada K, Ishihara T, Akano T, Kiyohara M (1993) Calcification in the articulated coralline alga Corallina pilulifera, with special reference to the effect of elevated CO2 concentration. Mar Biol 117:129–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao X, Endo H, Agatsuma Y (2015) Effect of increased seawater temperature on biomass, growth, and maturation of Saccharina japonica near its southern limit in northern Japan. J Appl Phycol 27:1263–1270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harley CDG, Hughes AR, Hultgren KM, Miner G, Sorte CJB, Thornber CS, Rodriguez LF, Tomanek L, Williams SL (2006) The impacts of climate change in coastal marine systems. Ecol Lett 9:228–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hillis-Colinvaux L (1980) Ecology and taxonomy of Halimeda: primary producer of coral reefs. Adv Mar Biol 17:1–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hoegh-Guldberg O (1999) Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs. Mar Freshw Res 50:839–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Houghton J (2009) Global warming: the complete briefing. Cambridge University, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  29. Hughes TP, Kerry JT, Álvarez-Noriega M, Álvarez-Romero JG, Anderson KD, Baird AH, Babcock RC, Beger M, Bellwood DR, Berkelmans R, Bridge TC, Butler IR, Byrne M, Cantin NE, Comeau S, Connolly SR, Cumming GS, Dalton SJ, Diaz-Pulido G, Eakin CM, Figueira WF, Gilmour JP, Harrison HB, Heron SF, Hoey AS, Hobbs JPA, Hoogenboom MO, Kennedy EV, Kuo CY, Lough JM, Lowe RJ, Liu G, McCulloch MT, Malcolm HA, McWilliam MJ, Pandolfi JM, Pears RJ, Pratchett MS, Schoepf V, Simpson T, Skirving WJ, Sommer B, Torda G, Wachenfeld DR, Willis BL, Wilson SK (2017) Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature 543:373–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ji Y, Xu Z, Zou D, Gao K (2016) Ecophysiological responses of marine macroalgae to climate change factors. J Appl Phycol 28:2953–2967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kaewsrikhaw R, Prathep A, Darakrai A, Beer S (2016) Photosynthesis and calcification in two Halimeda species from Phuket, Thailand. Bot Mar 59:187–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laffoley D, Grimsditch G (eds) (2009) The management of natural coastal carbon sinks. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 53 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Larkum AWD, Salik A, Kühl M (2011) Rapid mass movement of chloroplasts during segment formation of the calcifying siphonalean green alga, Halimeda macroloba. PLoS One 6(7):e20841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levitus S, Antonov JI, Boyer TP, Locarnini RA, Garcia HE, Mishonov AV (2009) Global ocean heat content 1995-2008 in light of recently revealed instrumentation problems. Geophys Res Lett 36:Google Scholar
  35. Mayakun J, Kim JH, Lapointe BE, Prathep A (2012a) Gametangial characteristics in the sexual reproduction of Halimeda macroloba Decaisne (Chlorophyta: Halimedaceae). Songklanakarin J Sci Technol 34:211–216Google Scholar
  36. Mayakun J, Kim JH, Lapointe BE, Prathep A (2012b) The effects of herbivore exclusion and nutrient enrichment on growth and reproduction of Halimeda macroloba Decaisne (Chlorophyta: Halimedaceae). ScienceAsia 38:227–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mayakun J, Bunruk P, Kongsaeng R (2014) Growth rate and calcium carbonate accumulation of Halimeda macroloba Decaisne (Chlorophyta: Halimedaceae) in Thai waters. Songklanakarin J Sci Technol 36:419–423Google Scholar
  38. Peach KE, Koch MS, Blackwelder PL, Manfrino C (2017) Calcification and photophysiology responses to elevated pCO2 in six Halimeda species from contrasting irradiance environments on Little Cayman Island reefs. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 486:114–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pongparadon S, Zuccarello GC, Phang S, Kawai H, Hanyuda H, Prathep A (2015) Diversity of Halimeda (Chlorophyta) from the Thai-Malay Peninsula. Phycol Res 54:349–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Semesi IS, Beer S, Björk M (2009) Seagrass photosynthesis controls rates of calcification and photosynthesis of calcareous macroalgae in a tropical seagrass meadow. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 382:41–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sinutok S, Hill R, Doblin MA, Kühl M, Ralph PJ (2012) Microenvironmental changes support evidence of photosynthesis and calcification inhibition in Halimeda under ocean acidification and warming. Coral Reefs 31:1201–1213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sinutok S, Pongparadon S, Prathep A (2008) Seasonal variation in density, growth rate and calcium carbonate accumulation of Halimeda macroloba Decaisne at Tangkhen Bay, Phuket Province, Thailand. Malaysian J Sci 27:1–8Google Scholar
  43. Smith AD, Key GS (1975) Carbon dioxide and metabolism in marine environments. Limnol Oceanogr 20:493–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sondak CFA, Ang PO, Beardall J, Bellgrove A, Boo SM, Gerung GS, Hepburn CD, Hong DD, Hu Z, Kawai K, Largo D, Lee JA, Lim PE, Mayakun J, Nelson WA, Oak JH, Phang SM, Sahoo D, Peerapornpis Y, Yang Y, Chung IK (2017a) Carbon dioxide mitigation potential of seaweed aquaculture beds (SABs). J Appl Phycol 29:2363–2373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sondak CFA, Ang PO, Beardall J, Bellgrove A, Boo SM, Gerung GS, Hepburn CD, Hong DD, Hu Z, Kawai H, Largo D, Lee JA, Lim P-E, Mayakun J, Nelson WA, Oak JH, Phang S-M, Sahoo D, Peerapornpis Y, Yang Y, Chung IK (2017b) Erratum to: carbon dioxide mitigation potential of seaweed aquaculture beds (SABs). J Appl Phycol 29:2375–2376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. van Tussenbroek BI, van Dijk JK (2007) Spatial and temporal variability in biomass and reproduction of psammophytic Halimeda incrassata (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) in a Caribbean reef lagoon. J Phycol 43:69–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wizemann A, Mann T, Klicpera A, Westphal H (2015) Microstructural analyses of sedimentary Halimeda segments from the Spermonde Archipelago (SW Sulawesi, Indonesia): a new indicator for sediment transport in tropical reef islands? Facies 61:4CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anchana Prathep
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ratchanee Kaewsrikhaw
    • 1
  • Jaruwan Mayakun
    • 1
  • Anuchit Darakrai
    • 1
  1. 1.Seaweed and Seagrass Research Unit, Excellence Centre for Biodiversity of Peninsular Thailand, Department of Biology Faculty of SciencePrince of Songkla UniversityHat YaiThailand

Personalised recommendations