Cues for metamorphosis in the invasive gastropod Crepidula fornicata and the effects of ocean acidification on larval development and cue perception

Chemical cues that induce larval metamorphosis in marine invertebrates contribute to the distribution and success of many species, including the marine gastropod Crepidula fornicata. As a markedly successful invasive species in Europe since the 1800’s, C. fornicata poses economic and environmental threats in its invasive range. Its behavior is therefore of great interest to fisheries, aquaculturists, and conservationists. In light of the changing global environment, and that of ocean acidification in particular, much is unknown about how chemical signals and their connected behaviors may shift. In my thesis, I aimed to identify the sources of cues that induce metamorphosis in competent C. fornicata larvae. I also examined the impact of reduced pH, which indicates increased acidity, on larval growth and the ability of larvae to perceive metamorphic cues to assess the potential impact of future ocean acidification levels on larval metamorphosis and early development in this particular species.

Trudel J. M., 2019. Cues for metamorphosis in the invasive gastropod Crepidula fornicata and the effects of ocean acidification on larval development and cue perception. MSc Thesis, Tufts University. Thesis (restricted access).

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