Detrimental effects of reduced seawater pH on the early development of the Pacific abalone

The hatching process of the Pacific abalone Haliotis discus hannai was prolonged at a pH of 7.6 and pH 7.3, and the embryonic developmental success was reduced. The hatching rate at pH 7.3 was significantly (10.8%) lower than that of the control (pH 8.2). The malformation rates at pH 7.9 and pH 8.2 were less than 20% but were 53.8% and 77.3% at pH 7.6 and pH 7.3, respectively. When newly hatched larvae were incubated for 48 h at pH 7.3, only 2.7% of the larvae settled, while more than 70% of the larvae completed settlement in the other three pH treatments. However, most 24 h old larvae could complete metamorphosis in all four pH treatments. Overall, a 0.3-unit reduction in water pH will produce no negative effect on the early development of the Pacific abalone, but further reduction in pH to the values predicted for seawater by the end of this century will have strong detrimental effects.

Li J., Jiang Z., Zhang J., Qiu J.-W., Du M., Bian D. & Fang J., in press. Detrimental effects of reduced seawater pH on the early development of the Pacific abalone. Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).


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