Health and population-dependent effects of ocean acidification on the marine isopod Idotea balthica

Three populations of the grazing isopod Idotea balthica were exposed to high CO2 treatment for a period of 20 days to investigate the effect of ocean acidification (OA) on animal health and immunocompetence. The results of the populations from more saline habitats were comparable and showed a 60–80 % decrease in immune response as a result of the high CO2 treatment. Analysis of protein carbonyls showed no treatment effect, indicating that short-term OA does not increase oxidative protein damage. Meanwhile, the third tested population from the lower saline Baltic Sea had higher background protein carbonyl levels. Ocean acidification in addition to this resulted in 100 % mortality. The results of this study show that OA reduced immunocompetence of this marine isopod. In addition, populations and individuals in poor health are potentially at greater risk to succumb under OA.

Wood H. L., Sköld H. N. & Eriksson S. P., in press. Health and population-dependent effects of ocean acidification on the marine isopod Idotea balthica. Marine Biology. Article (subscription required).

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