The development of contemporary European sea bass larvae (Dicentrarchus labrax) is not affected by projected ocean acidification scenarios

Ocean acidification is a recognized consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in the atmosphere. Despite its threat to marine ecosystems, little is presently known about the capacity for fish to respond efficiently to this acidification. In adult fish, acid–base regulatory capacities are believed to be relatively competent to respond to hypercapnic conditions. However, fish in early life stage could be particularly sensitive to environmental factors as organs and important physiological functions become progressively operational during this period. In this study, the response of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) larvae reared under three ocean acidification scenarios, i.e., control (present condition, P CO 2   PCO2  = 590 µatm, pH total = 7.9), low acidification (intermediate IPCC scenario, P CO 2   PCO2  = 980 µatm, pH total = 7.7), and high acidification (most severe IPCC scenario, P CO 2   PCO2  = 1520 µatm, pH total = 7.5) were compared across multiple levels of biological organizations. From 2 to 45 days-post-hatching, the chronic exposure to the different scenarios had limited influence on the survival and growth of the larvae (in the low acidification condition only) and had no apparent effect on the digestive developmental processes. The high acidification condition induced both faster mineralization and reduction in skeletal deformities. Global (microarray) and targeted (qPCR) analysis of transcript levels in whole larvae did not reveal any significant changes in gene expression across tested acidification conditions. Overall, this study suggests that contemporary sea bass larvae are already capable of coping with projected acidification conditions without having to mobilize specific defense mechanisms.

Crespel  A., Zambonino-Infante J.-L., Mazurais D., Koumoundouros G., Fragkoulis S., Quazuguel P., Huelvan C., Madec L., Servili A. & Claireaux G., 2017. The development of contemporary European sea bass larvae (Dicentrarchus labrax) is not affected by projected ocean acidification scenarios. Marine Biology 164: 155. doi: 10.1007/s00227-017-3178-x. Article.

 

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