Our ability to project the impact of global change on marine ecosystem is limited by our poor understanding on how to predict species sensitivity. For example, the impact of ocean acidification is highly species-specific, even in closely related taxa. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the tolerance range of a given species to decreased pH corresponds to their natural range of exposure. Larvae of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis were cultured from fertilization to metamorphic competence (29 days) under a wide range of pH (from pHT=8.0/pCO2≈480μatm to pHT=6.5/pCO2≈20000μatm) covering present (from pHT 8.7 to 7.6), projected near-future’s variability (from pHT 8.3 to 7.2) and beyond. Decreasing pH impacted all tested parameters (mortality, symmetry, growth, morphometry and respiration). Development of normal, although showing morphological plasticity, swimming larvae was possible as low as pHT≥7.0. Within that range, decreasing pH increased mortality and asymmetry and decreased body length growth rate. Larvae raised at lowered pH and with similar body length had shorter arms and a wider body. Relative to a given body length, respiration rates and stomach volume both increased with decreasing pH suggesting changes in energy budget. At the lowest pHs (pHT≤6.5), all the tested parameters were strongly negatively affected and no larva survived past 13 days post-fertilization. In conclusion, sea urchin larvae appeared to be highly plastic when exposed to decreased pH until a physiological tipping point at pHT=7.0. However, this plasticity was associated with direct (increased mortality) and indirect (decreased growth) consequences for fitness.
Posts Tagged 'physiology'
Tags: biological response, echinoderms, laboratory, morphology, mortality, physiology, respiration
Tags: biological response, echinoderms, Indian ocean, laboratory, multiple factors, North Atlantic, nutrients, physiology
The increase in atmospheric CO2 due to anthropogenic activity results in an acidification of the surface waters of the oceans. The impact of these chemical changes depends on the considered organisms. In particular, it depends on the ability of the organism to control the pH of its inner fluids. Among echinoderms, this ability seems to differ significantly according to species or taxa. In the present paper, we investigated the buffer capacity of the coelomic fluid in different echinoderm taxa as well as factors modifying this capacity. Euechinoidea (sea urchins except Cidaroidea) present a very high buffer capacity of the coelomic fluid (from 0.8 to 1.8 mmol kg- 1 SW above that of seawater) while Cidaroidea (other sea urchins), starfish and holothurians have a significantly lower one (from − 0.1 to 0.4 mmol kg- 1 SW compared to seawater). We hypothesize that this is linked to the more efficient gas exchange structures present in the three last taxa whereas Euechinoidea evolved specific buffer systems to compensate lower gas exchange abilities. The constituents of the buffer capacity and the factors influencing it were investigated in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus and the starfish Asterias rubens. Buffer capacity is primarily due to the bicarbonate buffer system of seawater (representing about 63% for sea urchins and 92% for starfish). It is also partly due to coelomocytes present in the coelomic fluid (around 8% for both) and, in P. lividus only, a compound of an apparent size larger than 3 kDa is involved (about 15%). Feeding increased the buffer capacity in P. lividus (to a difference with seawater of about 2.3 mmol kg- 1 SW compared to unfed ones who showed a difference of about 0.5 mmol kg- 1 SW) but not in A. rubens (difference with seawater of about 0.2 for both conditions). In P. lividus, decreased seawater pH induced an increase of the buffer capacity of individuals maintained at pH 7.7 to about twice that of the control individuals and, for those at pH 7.4, about three times. This allowed a partial compensation of the coelomic fluid pH for individuals maintaind at pH 7.7 but not for those at pH 7.4.
Can the combination of decreased pH and increased temperature values induce oxidative stress in the clam Chamelea gallina and the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis?Published 6 June 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, mollusks, multiple factors, physiology, temperature
The combined effects of decreased pH and increased temperature values on antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation were evaluated for the first time in the clam Chamelea gallina and the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, two bivalve species that are widespread along the northwestern coast of the Adriatic Sea. For 7 days, bivalves were exposed to three pH values (8.1, 7.7 and 7.4) at two temperatures (22 and 28 °C). Three independent experiments were carried out at salinity values of 28, 34 and 40 psu. Superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities as well as lipid peroxidation were measured in the gills and digestive gland of the bivalves. The results demonstrated that the experimental conditions significantly influenced the biochemical parameters of the bivalves, although the variation pattern varied depending on the species and tissues analysed.
Effects of elevated pCO2 on the metabolism of a temperate rhodolith Lithothamnion corallioides grown under different temperaturesPublished 29 May 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, calcification, laboratory, multiple factors, North Atlantic, physiology, primary production, respiration, temperature
Coralline algae are considered among the most sensitive species to near future ocean acidification. We tested the effects of elevated pCO2 on the metabolism of the free living coralline alga Lithothamnion corallioides (“maerl”) and the interactions with changes in temperature. Specimens were collected in North Brittany (France) and grown for 3 months at pCO2 of 380 (ambient pCO2), 550, 750 and 1000 μatm (elevated pCO2) and at successive temperatures of 10°C (ambient temperature in winter), 16°C (ambient temperature in summer) and 19°C (ambient temperature in summer + 3°C). At each temperature, gross primary production, respiration (oxygen flux) and calcification (alkalinity flux) rates were assessed in the light and dark. Pigments were determined by HPLC. Chl a, carotene and zeaxanthin were the three major pigments found in L. corallioides thalli. Elevated pCO2 did not affect pigment content while temperature slightly decreased zeaxanthin and carotene content at 10°C. Gross production was not affected by temperature but was significantly affected by pCO2 with an increase between 380 and 550 μatm. Light, dark and diel (24 h) calcification rates strongly decreased with increasing pCO2 regardless of the temperature. Although elevated pCO2 only slightly affected gross production in L. corallioides, diel net calcification was reduced by up to 80 % under the 1000 μatm treatment. Our findings suggested that near future levels of CO2 will have profound consequences for carbon and carbonate budgets in rhodolith beds and for the sustainability of these habitats.
Interactive effects of elevated temperature and CO2 levels on energy metabolism and biomineralization of marine bivalves Crassostrea virginica and Mercenaria mercenariaPublished 24 May 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, laboratory, mollusks, morphology, mortality, multiple factors, physiology, temperature
The continuing increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere leads to increases in global temperatures and partial pressure of CO2 (PCO2) in surface waters, causing ocean acidification. These changes are especially pronounced in shallow coastal and estuarine waters and are expected to significantly affect marine calcifiers including bivalves that are ecosystem engineers in estuarine and coastal communities. To elucidate potential effects of higher temperatures and PCO2 on physiology and biomineralization of marine bivalves, we exposed two bivalve species, the eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica and the hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria to different combinations of PCO2 (~ 400 and 800 μatm) and temperatures (22 and 27 °C) for 15 weeks. Survival, bioenergetic traits (tissue levels of lipids, glycogen, glucose and high energy phosphates) and biomineralization parameters (mechanical properties of the shells and activity of carbonic anhydrase, CA) were determined in clams and oysters under different temperature and PCO2 regimes. Our analysis showed major inter-species differences in shell mechanical traits and bioenergetics parameters. Elevated temperature led to the depletion of tissue energy reserves indicating energy deficiency in both species and resulted in higher mortality in oysters. Interestingly, while elevated PCO2 had a small effect on the physiology and metabolism of both species, it improved survival in oysters. At the same time, a combination of high temperature and elevated PCO2 lead to a significant decrease in shell hardness in both species, suggesting major changes in their biomineralization processes. Overall, these studies show that global climate change and ocean acidification might have complex interactive effects on physiology, metabolism and biomineralization in coastal and estuarine marine bivalves.
Physiological compensation for environmental acidification is limited in the deep-sea urchin Strongylocentrotus fragilisPublished 22 May 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: biological response, echinoderms, laboratory, morphology, mortality, multiple factors, North Pacific, oxygen, performance, physiology
Anthropogenic CO2 is now reaching depths over 1000 m in the Eastern Pacific, overlapping the Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Deep-sea animals – particularly, calcifiers – are suspected to be especially sensitive to environmental acidification associated with global climate change. We have investigated the effects of hypercapnia and hypoxia on the deep-sea urchin Strongylocentrotus fragilis, during two long-term exposure experiments (1 month and 4 month) at three levels of reduced pH at in situ O2 levels of approx. 10% saturation, and also to control pH at 100% O2 saturation. During the first experiment, internal acid-base balance was investigated during a one-month exposure; results show S. fragilis has limited ability to compensate for the respiratory acidosis brought on by reduced pH, due in part to low non-bicarbonate extracellular fluid buffering capacity. During the second experiment, longer-term effects of hypercapnia and variable O2 on locomotion, feeding, growth, and gonadosomatic index (GSI) were investigated; results show significant mortality and correlation of all measured parameters with environmental acidification at pH 6.6. Transient adverse effects on locomotion and feeding were seen at pH 7.2, without compromise of growth or GSI. Based on the expected changes in ocean pH and oxygen, results suggest extinction of S. fragilis in the eastern North Pacific is unlikely. Rather, we expect a shoaling and contraction of its bathymetric range.
Tags: biological response, crustaceans, laboratory, multiple factors, physiology, temperature
The injection of anthropogenically-produced CO2 into the atmosphere will lead to an increase in temperature and a decrease in pH at the surface of the oceans by 2100. Marine intertidal organisms possess the ability to cope in the short term with environmental fluctuations exceeding predicted values. However, how they will cope with chronic exposure to elevated temperature and pCO2 is virtually unknown. In addition, individuals from the same species/population often show remarkable levels of variation in their responses to complex climatic changes: in particular, variation in metabolic rates often is linked to differences in individuals’ performances and fitness. Despite its ecological and evolutionary importance, inter-individual variation has rarely been investigated within the context of climatic changes, and most investigations have typically employed orthogonal experimental designs paired to analyses of independent samples. Although this is undoubtedly a powerful and useful approach, it may not be the most appropriate for understanding all alterations of biological functions in response to environmental changes. An individual approach arguably should be favored when trying to describe organisms’ responses to climatic change. Consequently, to test which approach had the greater power to discriminate the intensity and direction of an organism’s response to complex climatic changes, we investigated the extracellular osmo/iono-regulatory abilities, upper thermal tolerances (UTTs), and metabolic rates of individual adults of an intertidal amphipod, Echinogammarus marinus, exposed for 15 days to combined elevated temperature and pCO2. The individual approach led to stronger and different predictions on how ectotherms will likely respond to ongoing complex climatic change, compared with the independent approaches. Consequently, this may call into question the relevance, or even the validity, of some of the predictions made to date. Finally, we argue that treating individual differences as biologically meaningful can lead to a better understanding of the physiological responses themselves and the selective processes that will occur with complex climatic changes; selection will likely play a crucial role in defining species’ responses to future environmental changes. Individuals with higher metabolic rates were also characterized by greater extracellular osmo/iono-regulative abilities and higher UTTs, and thus there appeared to be no evolutionary trade-offs between these functions. However, as individuals with greater metabolic rates also have greater costs for maintenance and repair, and likely a lower fraction of energy available for growth and reproduction, trade-offs between life-history and physiological performance may still arise.
Tags: biological response, crustaceans, fishing, multiple factors, oxygen, physiology, pollution, review, temperature
The Norway lobster Nephrops norvegicus lives at low-light depths, in muddy substrata of high organic content where water salinities are high and fluctuations in temperature are moderate. In this environment, the lobsters are naturally exposed to a number of potential stressors, many of them as a result of the surficial breakdown of organic material in the sediment. This process (early diagenesis) creates a heterogeneous environment with temporal and spatial fluctuations in a number of compounds such as oxygen, ammonia, metals, and hydrogen sulphide. In addition to this, there are anthropogenically generated stressors, such as human-induced climate change (resulting in elevated temperature and ocean acidification), pollution and fishing. The lobsters are thus exposed to several stressors, which are strongly linked to the habitat in which the animals live. Here, the capacity of Nephrops to deal with these stressors is summarised. Eutrophication-induced hypoxia and subsequent metal remobilisation from the sediment is a well-documented effect found in some wild Nephrops populations. Compared to many other crustacean species, Nephrops is well adapted to tolerate periods of hypoxia, but prolonged or severe hypoxia, beyond their tolerance level, is common in some areas. When the oxygen concentration in the environment decreases, the bioavailability of redox-sensitive metals such as manganese increases. Manganese is an essential metal, which, taken up in excess, has a toxic effect on several internal systems such as chemosensitivity, nerve transmission and immune defence. Since sediment contains high concentrations of metals in comparison to sea water, lobsters may accumulate both essential and non-essential metals. Different metals have different target tissues, though the hepatopancreas, in general, accumulates high concentrations of most metals. The future scenario of increasing anthropogenic influences on Nephrops habitats may have adverse effects on the fitness of the animals.
Effects of ocean acidification on growth and physiology of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta) in a rockpool-scenarioPublished 8 May 2013 Science Leave a Comment
Tags: algae, biological response, growth, laboratory, morphology, North Atlantic, photosynthesis, physiology
Rising atmospheric CO2-concentrations will have severe consequences for a variety of biological processes. We investigated the responses of the green alga Ulva lactuca (Linnaeus) to rising CO2-concentrations in a rockpool scenario. U. lactuca was cultured under aeration with air containing either preindustrial pCO2 (280 μatm) or the pCO2 predicted by the end of the 21st century (700 μatm) for 31 days. We addressed the following question: Will elevated CO2-concentrations affect photosynthesis (net photosynthesis, maximum relative electron transport rate (rETR(max)), maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), pigment composition) and growth of U. lactuca in rockpools with limited water exchange? Two phases of the experiment were distinguished: In the initial phase (day 1–4) the Seawater Carbonate System (SWCS) of the culture medium could be adjusted to the selected atmospheric pCO2 condition by continuous aeration with target pCO2 values. In the second phase (day 4–31) the SWCS was largely determined by the metabolism of the growing U. lactuca biomass. In the initial phase, Fv/Fm and rETR(max) were only slightly elevated at high CO2-concentrations, whereas growth was significantly enhanced. After 31 days the Chl a content of the thalli was significantly lower under future conditions and the photosynthesis of thalli grown under preindustrial conditions was not dependent on external carbonic anhydrase. Biomass increased significantly at high CO2-concentrations. At low CO2-concentrations most adult thalli disintegrated between day 14 and 21, whereas at high CO2-concentrations most thalli remained integer until day 31. Thallus disintegration at low CO2-concentrations was mirrored by a drastic decline in seawater dissolved inorganic carbon and HCO3−. Accordingly, the SWCS differed significantly between the treatments. Our results indicated a slight enhancement of photosynthetic performance and significantly elevated growth of U. lactuca at future CO2-concentrations. The accelerated thallus disintegration at high CO2-concentrations under conditions of limited water exchange indicates additional CO2 effects on the life cycle of U. lactuca when living in rockpools.
Tags: biological response, fish, multiple factors, physiology, South Pacific, temperature
Climate change is a global issue and the effects on fish populations remain largely unknown. It is thought that climate change could affect fish at all levels of biological organisation, from cellular,
individual, population and community. This thesis has taken a holistic approach to examine the ways in which climate change could affect fish from both tropical, marine ecosystems (Great Barrier Reef,
Australia) and temperate, freshwater ecosystems (non-tidal River Thames, Britain). Aerobic scope of coral reef fish tested on the Great Barrier Reef was significantly reduced by just a 2°C rise in water temperature (31, 32 and 33°C, compared to the current summer mean of 29°C) due to increased resting oxygen consumption and an inability to increase the maximal oxygen uptake. A 0.3 unit decline in pH, representative of ocean acidification, caused the same percentage loss in aerobic scope as did a 3°C warming. Interfamilial differences in ability to cope aerobically with warming waters will likely lead to changes in the community structure on coral reefs with damselfish replacing cardinalfish.
Concerning Britain, there is evidence of gradual warming and increased rainfall in winter months over a 150 year period, suggesting that British fish are already experiencing climate change. It was evident from an analysis of a 15 year dataset on fish populations in the River Thames, that cyprinid species displayed a different pattern in biomass and density to all the non-cyprinid fish population, suggesting that there will be interfamilial differences in responses to climate change.
Using a Biological Indicator Approach on the three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, a 2°C rise in water temperature resulted in a stress response at the cellular and whole organism level. A 6°C rise in temperature resulted in a stress response at the biochemical level (higher cortisol and glucose concentrations), cellular level (higher neutrophil: lymphocyte ratio) and whole organism level (higher ventilation rate and lowered condition factor, hepatosomatic index and growth). G. aculeatus is considered to be temperature tolerant; therefore these results indicate that climate change may prove to be stressful for more temperature-sensitive species. This study has demonstrated that climate change will have direct effects on fish populations, whether they are in temperate regions such as Britain or in tropical coral reefs,but with strong interfamilial differences in those responses.