Sensitivity towards elevated pCO2 in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck) embryos and fed larvae

The increasing amount of dissolved anthropogenic CO2 has caused a drop in pH-values in the open ocean known as ocean acidification. This change in seawater carbonate chemistry has been shown to have a negative effect on a number of marine organisms. Early life stages are the most vulnerable, and especially the organisms that produce calcified structures in the phylum Mollusca. Few studies have looked at effects on scallops, and this is the first study presented including fed larvae of the great scallop (Pecten maximus) followed until day 14 post-fertilization. Fertilized eggs from unexposed parents were exposed to three levels of pCO2 using four replicate units: 465 (ambient), 768 and 1294 μatm, corresponding to pHNBS of 7.94, 7.74 and 7.54, respectively. All of the observed parameters were negatively affected by elevated pCO2: survival, larval development, shell growth and normal shell development. The latter was observed to be affected only two days after fertilization. Negative effects on the fed larvae at day 7 were similar to what was shown earlier for unfed P. maximus larvae. Growth rate in the group at 768 μatm seemed to decline after day 7, indicating that the ability to overcome the environmental change at moderately elevated pCO2 was lost over time. Food availability may not decrease the sensitivity to elevated pCO2 in scallop larvae. Unless genetic adaptation and acclimatization counteract the negative effects of long term elevated pCO2, populations of scallops may be negatively affected by ocean acidification in the future.

Andersen S., Grefsrud E. S. & Harboe T., 2016. Sensitivity towards elevated pCO2 in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck) embryos and fed larvae. Biogeosciences Discussions 1-25. Article.


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