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Seawater acidification and temperature modulate anti-predator defenses in two co-existing Mytilus species

Journal article
Authors H. Kong
J. C. Clements
S. Dupont
T. Wang
X. Huang
Y. Shang
W. Huang
J. Chen
M. Hu
Youji Wang
Published in Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume 145
Issue August
Pages 118-125
ISSN 0025-326X
Publication year 2019
Published at The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 118-125
Language en
Keywords Anti-predation behaviour, Cluster, Mussel, pH, Species-specific effect, Temperature, Ecology, Molluscs, pH effects, Ecological functioning, Ocean acidifications, Predator-prey interaction, Seawater acidifications, Species specifics, Acidification, dissolved oxygen, sea water, sodium chloride, antipredator defense, mollusc, ocean acidification, sea surface temperature, seawater, warming, Article, China, controlled study, defensive behavior, environmental temperature, Mytilus, Mytilus coruscus, Mytilus edulis, nonhuman, predation, predator prey interaction, salinity, sea, species difference, sympatry, water temperature
Subject categories Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


The effects of short-term (7 days) experimental ocean acidification (−0.4 pH units) and warming (+5 °C) on anti-predator defenses of two sympatric Mytilus species from China, M. coruscus and M. edulis, in the presence and absence of predator cues were investigated. Results suggested species-specific independent negative effects of acidification and warming on the number and weight of byssal threads, the force of thread attachment, and total thread plaque area. Similar negative effects were observed for clustering behaviour, with acidification and warming independently increasing the number of solitary individuals and decreasing the percentage of mussels in clusters. Acidification effects on byssus were strongly exacerbated when predators were present. Ultimately, this study suggests that short-term exposure to experimental warming and acidification can negatively impact anti-predator defense strategies in mussels with potential ramifications for predator-prey interactions and ecological functioning in systems where mussel beds play a key ecological role. © 2019

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