Larvae of the pteropod Cavolinia inflexa exposed to aragonite undersaturation are viable but shell-less

Larvae of the Mediterranean pteropod Cavolinia inflexa were maintained at controlled pHT values of 8.1, 7.82 and 7.51, equivalent, respectively, to pCO2 levels of 380, 857 and 1,713 μatm. At pHT 7.82, larvae exhibited malformations and lower shell growth, compared to the control condition. At pHT 7.51, the larvae did not make shells but were viable and showed a normal development. However, smaller shells or no shells will have both ecological (food web) and biogeochemical (export of carbon and carbonate) consequences. These results suggest that pteropod larvae, as well as the species dependent upon them or upon adults as a food resource, might be significantly impacted by ocean acidification.



Comeau, S., Gorsky, G., Alliouane, S., & Gattuso, J.-P., in press. Larvae of the pteropod Cavolinia inflexa exposed to aragonite undersaturation are viable but shell-less. Marine Biology doi:10.1007/s00227-010-1493-6. Article (subscription required).


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