Post-larval development of two intertidal barnacles at elevated CO2 and temperature

Ocean acidification and global warming are occurring concomitantly, yet few studies have investigated how organisms will respond to increases in both temperature and CO2. Intertidal microcosms were used to examine growth, shell mineralogy and survival of two intertidal barnacle post-larvae, Semibalanus balanoides and Elminius modestus, at two temperatures (14 and 19°C) and two CO2 concentrations (380 and 1,000 ppm), fed with a mixed diatom-flagellate diet at 15,000 cells ml−1 with flow rate of 10 ml−1 min−1. Control growth rates, using operculum diameter, were 14 ± 8 μm day−1 and 6 ± 2 μm day−1 for S. balanoides and E. modestus, respectively. Subtle, but significant decreases in E. modestus growth rate were observed in high CO2 but there were no impacts on shell calcium content and survival by either elevated temperature or CO2. S. balanoides exhibited no clear alterations in growth rate but did show a large reduction in shell calcium content and survival under elevated temperature and CO2. These results suggest that a decrease by 0.4 pH(NBS) units alone would not be sufficient to directly impact the survival of barnacles during the first month post-settlement. However, in conjunction with a 4–5°C increase in temperature, it appears that significant changes to the biology of these organisms will ensue.

Findlay H. S., Kendall M. A., Spicer J. I. & Widdicombe S., 2010. Post-larval development of two intertidal barnacles at elevated CO2 and temperature. Marine Biology 157: 725-735. Article (subscription required).

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