Effects of experimental long-term CO2 exposure on Daphnia magna (Straus 1820): From physiological effects to ecological consequences

The carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that were proposed to mitigate environmental problems arising from anthropogenic CO2 emissions, also have potential environmental risks. An eventual CCS leak might induce very low pH values in the aquatic system. Due to the lack of knowledge of long-term CO2 exposures with very low pH values, this study aims to know the effects and consequences of such a situation for zooplankton, using the Daphnia magna experimental model. A CO2 injection system was used to provide the experimental condition. A twenty-one days experiment with control and low pH treatment (pH = 7) replicates was carried out under light and temperature-controlled conditions. Survival, individual growth, RNA:DNA ratio, and neonates production were analysed during the aforementioned period. No differences on survival (except last day), individual growth and RNA:DNA ratio were observed between both control and low pH treatments. However, clear differences were detected in neonates production and, consequently, in population growth rates and secondary production. The observed differences could be related with an energy allocation strategy to ensure individual survival but would have ecological consequences affecting higher trophic levels.

Parra G., Galotti A., Jiménez-Melero R., Guerrero F., Sánchez-Moyano E., Jiménez-Gómez F. & Conradi M., 2016. Effects of experimental long-term CO2 exposure on Daphnia magna (Straus 1820): From physiological effects to ecological consequences. Chemosphere 156:272–279. Article (subscription required).


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