Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 11775–11786 | Cite as

Halimeda jolyana (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta) presents higher vulnerability to metal pollution at its lower temperature limits of distribution

  • Fernando Scherner
  • Eduardo Bastos
  • Ticiane Rover
  • Eliana de Medeiros Oliveira
  • Rafael Almeida
  • Ana Gabriela Itokazu
  • Zenilda Laurita Bouzon
  • Leonardo Rubi Rörig
  • Sonia Maria Barreto Pereira
  • Paulo Antunes Horta
Research Article


Seaweeds living at their temperature limits of distribution are naturally exposed to physiological stressors, facing additional stress when exposed to coastal pollution. The physiological responses of seaweeds to environmental conditions combining natural and anthropogenic stressors provide important information on their vulnerability. We assessed the physiological effects and ultrastructural alterations of trace metals enrichment at concentrations observed in polluted regions within the temperature ranges of distribution of the endemic seaweed Halimeda jolyana, an important component of tropical southwestern Atlantic reefs. Biomass yield and photosynthetic performance declined substantially in samples exposed to metal, although photosynthesis recovered partially at the highest temperature when metal enrichment was ceased. Metal enrichment caused substantial ultrastructural alterations to chloroplasts regardless of temperatures. The lack of photosynthetic recovery at the lower temperatures indicates a higher vulnerability of the species at its temperature limits of distribution in the southwestern Atlantic.


Photosynthesis Chloroplast Ultrastructure Trace metals Physiological recover Distribution limits 


Funding information

This work was supported by grants from Capes (Higher Education Personnel Improvement Coordination), CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), REDEALGAS (Brazilian Research Network on Global Climate Change), Rede de Pesquisa Coral Vivo, FINEP/Rede CLIMA, Boticario Foundation and FAPESC (Foundation support research and innovation in the State of Santa Catarina). Barufi, J.B. assisted with chlorophyll a extractions. Wegher, D. provided laboratorial assistance during experimental procedures. Yokoya, N. and Santos, R. critically reviewed a previous version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Scherner
    • 1
  • Eduardo Bastos
    • 2
  • Ticiane Rover
    • 3
  • Eliana de Medeiros Oliveira
    • 4
  • Rafael Almeida
    • 2
  • Ana Gabriela Itokazu
    • 2
  • Zenilda Laurita Bouzon
    • 3
  • Leonardo Rubi Rörig
    • 2
  • Sonia Maria Barreto Pereira
    • 1
  • Paulo Antunes Horta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyFederal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE)RecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BotanyFederal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Cell Biology, Embryology and GeneticsFederal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil
  4. 4.Central Laboratory of Electron MicroscopyFederal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil

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