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Ocean acidification induces budding in larval sea urchins

Journal article
Authors Karen Chan
Danny Grunbaum
maj Arnberg
Michael C. Thorndyke
Samuel Dupont
Published in Marine Biology
Volume 160
Issue 8
Pages 1-7
ISSN 0025-3162
Publication year 2013
Published at Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CEMEB)
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 1-7
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-012-2103-...
Subject categories Biological Sciences

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA), the reduction of ocean pH due to hydration of atmospheric CO2, is known to affect growth and survival of marine invertebrate larvae. Survival and transport of vulnerable planktonic larval stages play important roles in determining population dynamics and community structures in coastal ecosystems. Here, we show that larvae of the purple urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, underwent high-frequency budding (release of blastula-like particles) when exposed to elevated pCO2 level (>700 μatm). Budding was observed in >50 % of the population and was synchronized over short periods of time (~24 h), suggesting this phenomenon may be previously overlooked. Although budding can be a mechanism through which larval echinoids asexually reproduce, here, the released buds did not develop into viable clones. OA-induced budding and the associated reduction in larval size suggest new hypotheses regarding physiological and ecological tradeoffs between short-term benefits (e.g. metabolic savings and predation escape) and long-term costs (e.g. tissue loss and delayed development) in the face of climate change.

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