Ideas and perspectives: The fluctuating nature of oxygen shapes the ecology of aquatic habitats and their biogeochemical cycles – the aquatic oxyscape

Marco Fusi, Sylvain Rigaud, Giovanna Guadagnin, Alberto Barausse, Ramona Marasco, Daniele Daffonchio, Julie Régis, Louison Huchet, Capucine Camin, Laura Pettit, Cristina Vina-Herbon, Folco Giomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oxygen availability is a pivotal factor for ecosystem functioning and the resistance of organisms to the effect of climate change in aquatic habitats. Although extensive work has been done to assess the effect of oxygen on marine and freshwater biota, many studies have not captured the ecological importance of oxygen variations. Overlooking the fluctuating nature of oxygen may cause potential biases in the design and implementation of management policies for aquatic habitats. Conceptual perspectives on the dynamic nature of oxygen fluctuations have been raised in the scientific community in order to enhance the understanding of the effect of oxygen on the physiology and the ecology of aquatic species as well as the biogeochemical functioning of their ecosystems. A growing number of empirical work has been outlining a novel conceptual framework that considers the magnitude of oxygen fluctuation as a key variable that explains adaptation to stress conditions. Oxygen in productive aquatic habitats shows large fluctuations at the diel scale, exposing aquatic species to conditions ranging from extreme supersaturation to anoxia. Recent research has indicated that such a fluctuation tunes the physiological plasticity of the animal in response to thermal stresses. In this paper, we provide compelling evidence based on current research that the fluctuating oxygen landscape, here defined as “oxyscape”, has an important role in aquatic animal physiology and adaptation as well as the ecosystem biogeochemistry. We propose that the oxyscape should be considered in the modelling and managing policies of aquatic ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3509-3521
Number of pages13
JournalBiogeosciences
Volume20
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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