To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Elevated carbon dioxide a… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Elevated carbon dioxide alters the plasma composition and behaviour of a shark

Journal article
Authors Leon Green
Fredrik Jutfelt
Published in Biology Letters
Volume 10
Issue 9
ISSN 1744-9561
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Keywords behaviour, respirometry, aerobic scope, blood chemistry, carbon dioxide, Davenport diagram, OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, MARINE FISH, REEF FISHES, CO2, PERFORMANCE, Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Subject categories Evolutionary Biology, Ecology


Increased carbon emissions from fossil fuels are increasing the pCO(2) of the ocean surface waters in a process called ocean acidification. Elevated water pCO(2) can induce physiological and behavioural effects in teleost fishes, although there appear to be large differences in sensitivity between species. There is currently no information available on the possible responses to future ocean acidification in elasmobranch fishes. We exposed small-spotted catsharks (Scyliorhinus canicula) to either control conditions or a year 2100 scenario of 990 matm pCO(2) for four weeks. We did not detect treatment effects on growth, resting metabolic rate, aerobic scope, skin denticle ultrastructure or skin denticle morphology. However, we found that the elevated pCO(2) group buffered internal acidosis via HCO3- accumulation with an associated increase in Na+, indicating that the blood chemistry remained altered despite the long acclimation period. The elevated pCO(2) group also exhibited a shift in their nocturnal swimming pattern from a pattern of many starts and stops to more continuous swimming. Although CO2-exposed teleost fishes can display reduced behavioural asymmetry (lateralization), the CO2-exposed sharks showed increased lateralization. These behavioural effects may suggest that elasmobranch neurophysiology is affected by CO2, as in some teleosts, or that the sharks detect CO2 as a constant stressor, which leads to altered behaviour. The potential direct effects of ocean acidification should henceforth be considered when assessing future anthropogenic effects on sharks.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?