Thermal Acclimation of Respiration and Photosynthesis in the Marine Macroalga Gracilaria lemaneiformis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta)


  • Dinghui Zou,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Key Lab of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, China
    • College of Environmental Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
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  • Kunshan Gao

    1. State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China
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The responses of respiration and photosynthesis to temperature fluctuations in marine macroalgae have the potential to significantly affect coastal carbon fluxes and sequestration. In this study, the marine red macroalga Gracilaria lemaneiformis was cultured at three different temperatures (12, 19, and 26°C) and at high- and low-nitrogen (N) availability, to investigate the acclimation potential of respiration and photosynthesis to temperature change. Measurements of respiratory and photosynthetic rates were made at five temperatures (7°C–33°C). An instantaneous change in temperature resulted in a change in the rates of respiration and photosynthesis, and the temperature sensitivities (i.e., the Q10 value) for both the metabolic processes were lower in 26°C-grown algae than 12°C- or 19°C-grown algae. Both respiration and photosynthesis acclimated to long-term changes in temperature, irrespective of the N availability under which the algae were grown; respiration displayed strong acclimation, whereas photosynthesis only exhibited a partial acclimation response to changing growth temperatures. The ratio of respiration to gross photosynthesis was higher in 12°C-grown algae, but displayed little difference between the algae grown at 19°C and 26°C. We propose that it is unlikely that respiration in G. lemaneiformis would increase significantly with global warming, although photosynthesis would increase at moderately elevated temperatures.