Atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased from 280 to 380 ppm from the industrial revolution until present day. Absorption of this excess CO2 by ocean waters is causing a general reduction in seawater pH, a phenomenon referred to as ocean acidification. To study physiological adaptation of marine organisms to these environmental changes, a keystone species of the North Atlantic pelagic food web, the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, was subjected to various exposure scenarios. Multiple generations (P to F2) were continuously exposed to either 380 ppm CO2: present day situation; 1080 and 2080 ppm CO2: respectively end-of-century prediction and worst case scenario for the year 2300; or 3080 ppm CO2: positive control. Physiological endpoints examined include rates of growth, development, metabolism as well as fecundity and fertility. Results indicate a CO2-mediated reduction of developmental and egg-laying rates suggesting a potential adverse effect on the North Atlantic pelagic food chain.
Salaberria I., Tagliati A., Gustavson L. M., Håkedal O. J., Hansen B. H., Altin D., Olsen A. J. & Pedersen S. A., 2012. Keynote lecture: Developmental and reproductive adaptation to CO2-induced ocean acidification scenarios: a multi-generational study using the marine copepod Calanus finmarchicus. 28th Congress – European Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry – Cellular and molecular mechanisms for physiological adaptation to multiple stress, Bilbao, 2-5 September 2012. Abstract.