Energy metabolism and survival of the juvenile recruits of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) exposed to a gradient of elevated seawater pCO2

Highlights

• Responses were largely linear, traits being predictable across the pCO2 gradient.
• Oxygen consumption rates was not affected by elevated pCO2 levels.
• Exposure to elevated pCO2 increased mortality and intermoult period.
• Reduced aerobic capacity at high pCO2 suggested energy metabolism reorganisation.

Abstract

The transition from the last pelagic larval stage to the first benthic juvenile stage in the complex life cycle of marine invertebrates, such as the American lobster Homarus americanus, a species of high economic importance, represents a delicate phase in these species development. Under future elevated pCO2 conditions, ocean acidification and other elevated pCO2 events can negatively affect crustaceans. This said their effects on the benthic settlement phase are virtually unknown. This study aimed to identify the effects of elevated seawater pCO2 on stage V American lobsters exposed to seven pCO2 levels. The survival, development time, metabolic and feeding rates, carapace composition, and mitochondrial function were investigated. Results suggested an increase in mortality, slower development and a reduction in aerobic capacity with increasing pCO2. Our study points to potential reduction in juvenile recruitment success as seawater pCO2 increases, thus foreshadowing important socio-economic repercussions for the lobster fisheries and industry.

Menu-Courey K., Noisette F., Piedalue S., Daoud D., Blair T., Blier P. U., Azetsu-Scott K. & Calosi P., in press. Energy metabolism and survival of the juvenile recruits of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) exposed to a gradient of elevated seawater pCO2. Marine Environmental Research. Article (subscription required).

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