Starfish larvae lose substantial energy to maintain digestion under ocean acidification conditions

A team of researchers led by Marian Hu from the Institute of Physiology in Christian‐Albrechts‐University, Kiel (Germany) investigated the hidden link between ocean acidification (OA) and digestive functions of microscopic marine larvae. The results of this study are presented in this issue of Acta Physiologica [1]. Ocean acidification ‐ a human‐driven global change in ocean pH – is expected to have multiple impacts on the marine ecosystem and its services but also directly on animal physiology. For instance, Hu and colleagues demonstrated that low‐pH seawater treatment strongly affected the metabolism of the brittlestar Amphiura filliformis and even reduced by 80% arm regeneration following amputation [2]. This team became particularly interested in the metabolic costs of maintaining vital functions such as calcification [3] and digestion [4] under acidified seawater conditions, using echinoderm larvae as their model.

Dorey N., 2018. Starfish larvae lose substantial energy to maintain digestion under ocean acidification conditions. Acta Physiologica: e13169Article (subscription required).

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