Impact of CO2-driven acidification on the development of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)

We evaluated the impact of ocean acidification on the early development of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. The effect of pH-levels (pH 8.04, 7.85, 7.70 and 7.42) were tested on post-fertilization success, developmental (stage duration) and growth rates. Post-fertilization success decreased linearly with pH leading to a 6% decrease at pH 7.42 as compared to pH 8.1. The impact of pH on developmental time was stage-dependent: (1) stage duration increased linearly with decreasing pH in early-auricularia stage; (2) decreased linearly with decreasing pH in the mid-auricularia stage; but (3) pH decline had no effect on the late-auricularia stage. At the end of the experiment, the size of doliolaria larvae linearly increased with decreasing pH. In conclusion, a 0.62 unit decrease in pH had relatively small effects on A. japonicus early life-history compared to other echinoderms, leading to a maximum of 6% decrease in post-fertilization success and subtle effects on growth and development.

Yuan X., Shao S., Dupont S., Menga L., Liu Y. & Wang L., in press. Impact of CO2-driven acidification on the development of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Marine Pollution Bulletin. Article (subscription required).


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