Indirect effects of ocean acidification drive feeding and growth of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci

The indirect effects of changing climate in modulating trophic interactions can be as important as the direct effects of climate stressors on consumers. The success of the herbivorous juvenile stage of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), Acanthaster planci, may be affected by the impacts of ocean conditions on its crustose coralline algal (CCA) food. To partition the direct effects of near future ocean acidification on juvenile COTS and indirect effects through changes in their CCA food, COTS were grown in three pHT levels (7.9, 7.8, 7.6) and fed CCA grown at similar pH levels. Consumption of CCA by COTS was bolstered when the COTS were grown in low pH and when they were fed CCA grown in low pH regardless of the pH in which the COTS were reared. COTS fed CCA grown at pH 7.6 grew fastest, but the pH/pCO2 that the COTS were reared in had no direct effect on growth. Ocean acidification conditions decreased the C : N ratio and carbonate levels in the CCA. Bolstered growth in COTS may be driven by enhanced palatability, increased nutritive state and reduced defences of their CCA food. These results indicate that near future acidification will increase the success of early juvenile COTS and boost recruitment into the coral-eating life stage.

Kamya P. Z., Byrne M., Mos B., Hall L. & Dworjanyn S. A., 2017. Indirect effects of ocean acidification drive feeding and growth of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284(1856). Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Indirect effects of ocean acidification drive feeding and growth of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci”



  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

  • 1,018,683 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book