Effect of carbonate chemistry manipulations on calcification, respiration, and excretion of a Mediterranean pteropod

Although shelled pteropods are expected to be particularly sensitive to ocean acidification, the few available studies have mostly focused on polar species and have not allowed determining which parameter of the carbonate system controls their calcification. Specimens of the temperate Mediterranean species Creseis acicula were maintained under seven different conditions of the carbonate chemistry, obtained by manipulating pH and total alkalinity, with the goal to disentangle the effects of the pH and the saturation state with respect to aragonite (Ωa). Our results tend to show that respiration, excretion as well as rates of net and gross calcification were not directly affected by a decrease in pH but decreased significantly with a decrease in Ωa. Due to the difficulties in maintaining pteropods in the laboratory and the important variability in their abundances in our study site, long-term acclimation as well as replication of the experiment was not possible. However, we strongly believe that these results represent an important step in the mechanistic understanding of the effect of ocean acidification on pteropods physiology.

Comeau, S., Gattuso, J.-P., Jeffree, R., and Gazeau, F., 2012. Effect of carbonate chemistry manipulations on calcification, respiration, and excretion of a Mediterranean pteropod. Biogeosciences Discussions 9: 6169-6189. Article.


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