- • High CO2 reduced survival and mate-guarding duration.
- • Initial stimulation of egg production in F0 was followed by a decline in F1.
- • Drop in fecundity revealed in the second generation under high CO2.
- • Overall negative carry-over effects of transgenerational exposure to high CO2.
Ocean acidification (OA) poses a global threat to marine biodiversity. Notwithstanding, marine organisms may maintain their performance under future OA conditions, either through acclimation or evolutionary adaptation. Surprisingly, the transgenerational effects of high CO2 exposure in crustaceans are still poorly understood. For the first time, the present study investigated the transgenerational effect of OA, from hatching to maturity, of a key amphipod species (Gammarus locusta). Negative transgenerational effects were observed on survival of the acidified lineage, resulting in significant declines (10–15%) compared to the control groups in each generation. Mate-guarding duration was also significantly reduced under high CO2 and this effect was not alleviated by transgenerational acclimation, indicating that precopulatory behaviours can be disturbed under a future high CO2 scenario. Although OA may initially stimulate female investment, transgenerational exposure led to a general decline in egg number and fecundity. Overall, the present findings suggest a potential fitness reduction of natural populations of G. locusta in a future high CO2 ocean, emphasizing the need of management tools towards species’ sustainability.
Borges F. O., Figueiredo C., Sampaio E., Rosa R. & Grilo T. F., in press. Transgenerational deleterious effects of ocean acidification on the reproductive success of a keystone crustacean (Gammarus locusta). Marine Environmental Research. Article (subscription required).