Interactive effects of ocean warming and acidification on sperm motility and fertilization in the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis

Gametes of marine broadcast spawners are highly susceptible to the threats of ocean warming and acidification. Here, we explore the main and interacting effects of temperature and pH changes on sperm motility and fertilization rates in the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Additionally, we determine how temperature and pH interact to influence the motility of aging sperm. We show that the interactive effects of temperature (18°C or 24°C) and pH (ranging from 7.6 to 8.0) on sperm motility depend on the time that sperm spend in these conditions. Specifically, sperm linearity was influenced by a temperature × pH interaction when measured after a relatively short exposure to the treatment conditions, while main effects of temperature and pH (but no interaction) on sperm motility became apparent only after prolonged exposure (2 h) to the treatments. Despite the interactive effects of temperature and pH on sperm motility, these factors had independent effects on fertilization rates, which were significantly higher at the ambient ocean pH level and at the elevated temperature. This study highlights the importance of considering the combined effects of predicted ocean changes on sperm motility and fertilization rates, and cautions against using only sperm motility as a proxy for reproductive fitness. Detrimental effects of pH and temperature may only be uncovered when these factors are examined together, or conversely, negative impacts of one variable may be buffered by changes in another. Our results raise the intriguing possibility that some species may cope better with ocean acidification if they simultaneously experience ocean warming.

Eads A. R., Kennington W. J. & Evans J. P., 2016. Interactive effects of ocean warming and acidification on sperm motility and fertilization in the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 562:101-111. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Interactive effects of ocean warming and acidification on sperm motility and fertilization in the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 994,170 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book