Effect of increased pCO2 on early shell development in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck) larvae

As a result of high anthropogenic emission of CO2, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) in the oceans has increased causing a drop in pH, known as ocean acidification (OA). Numerous studies have shown negative effects on marine invertebrates, and that the early life stages are the most sensitive to OA. We studied the effects on embryo and larvae of great scallop (Pecten maximus L.), using mean pCO2-levels of 477 (ambient), 821, 1184, and 1627 ppm. OA affected both survival and shell growth negatively after seven days. Growth was reduced with 5–10% when pCO2 increased from ambient 477 ppm to 1627 ppm, and survival based on egg number was reduced from 40.4% in the ambient group to 10.7% in the highest pCO2-group. Larvae/embryos stained with calcein one day after fertilization, showed fluorescence in the newly formed shell area indicating calcification of the shell already at the trochophore stage. Shell hinge deformities were observed at elevated pCO2-levels in trochophore larvae after two days. After seven days, deformities in both shell hinge and shell edge were observed in veliger larvae at elevated pCO2-levels. Although the growth showed a moderate reduction, survival rate and increased amount of deformed larvae indicates that P. Maximus larvae are affected by elevated pCO2 levels within the range of what is projected for the next century.

Andersen S., Grefsrud E. S. & Harboe T., 2013. Effect of increased pCO2 on early shell development in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck) larvae. Biogeosciences Discussions 10, 3281-3310. Article.

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