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Long-term exposure to acidification disrupts reproduction in a marine invertebrate

Journal article
Authors Christian Pansch
Giannina Hattich
Mara E. Heinrichs
Andreas Pansch
Zuzanna Zagrodzka
Jonathan N. Havenhand
Published in PLoS ONE
Volume 13
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.019203...
Subject categories Marine ecology

Abstract

Copyright: © 2018 Pansch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Climate change research is advancing to more complex and more comprehensive studies that include long-term experiments, multiple life-history stages, multi-population, and multi-trait approaches. We used a population of the barnacle Balanus improvisus known to be sensitive to short-term acidification to determine its potential for long-term acclimation to acidification. We reared laboratory-bred individuals (as singles or pairs), and field-collected assemblages of barnacles, at pH 8.1 and 7.5 ( 400 and 1600 ?atm pCO2respectively) for up to 16 months. Acidification caused strong mortality and reduced growth rates. Acidification suppressed respiration rates and induced a higher feeding activity of barnacles after 6 months, but this suppression of respiration rate was absent after 15 months. Laboratory-bred barnacles developed mature gonads only when they were held in pairs, but nonetheless failed to produce fertilized embryos. Field-collected barnacles reared in the laboratory for 8 months at the same pH’s developed mature gonads, but only those in pH 8.1 produced viable embryos and larvae. Because survivors of long-term acidification were not capable of reproducing, this demonstrates that B. improvisus can only partially acclimate to long-term acidification. This represents a clear and significant bottleneck in the ontogeny of this barnacle population that may limit its potential to persist in a future ocean.

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