The emission of volatile halocarbons by seaweeds and their response towards environmental changes

Fiona Seh Lin Keng, Siew Moi Phang, Noorsaadah Abd Rahman, Emma C. Leedham Elvidge, Gill Malin, William T. Sturges

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Volatile halocarbons can deplete the protective stratospheric ozone layer contributing to global climate change and may even affect local climate through aerosol production. These compounds are produced through anthropogenic and biogenic processes. Biogenic halocarbons may be produced as defence compounds, anti-oxidants or by-products of metabolic processes. These compounds include very short-lived halocarbons (VSLH), e.g. bromoform (CHBr3), dibromomethane (CH2Br2), methyl iodide (CH3I), diiodomethane (CH2I2). Efforts to quantify the biogenic sources of these compounds, especially those of marine origin, e.g. seaweeds, phytoplankton and seagrass meadows, are often complicated by inherent biological variability as well as spatial and temporal changes in emissions. The contribution of the coastal region and the oceans to the stratospheric load of halocarbons has been widely debated. This highlights the need to understand the factors affecting the release of these compounds from marine sources for which data for modelling purposes are generally lacking. Seaweeds are important sources of biogenic halocarbons subjected to changing environmental conditions. Huge uncertainties in the prediction of current and future global halocarbon pool exist due to the lack of spatial and temporal data input from coastal and oceanic sources. Therefore, investigating the effect of changing environmental conditions on the emission of VSLH by the seaweeds could help towards better estimations of halocarbon emissions. This is especially important in light of global changes in both climate and the environment, the expansion of seaweed cultivation industry and the interactions between halocarbon emission and their environment. In this paper, we review current knowledge of seaweed halocarbon emissions, how environmental factors affect these emissions and identify gaps in understanding. Our aim is to direct much needed research to improve understanding of the contribution of marine biogenic sources of halocarbons and their impact on the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1394
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date4 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Air-Sea gas exchange
  • Bromoform
  • Climate change
  • Environmental change
  • Halocarbons
  • Seaweed
  • RED ALGAE
  • VANADIUM HALOPEROXIDASES
  • LAMINARIA-DIGITATA
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • BROMINATING ACTIVITY
  • OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
  • SHORT-LIVED BROMOCARBONS
  • DISSOLVED ORGANIC-MATTER
  • HYDROGEN-PEROXIDE
  • ULTRAVIOLET-RADIATION

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