Hypoxia aggravates the effects of ocean acidification on the physiological energetics of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis

Highlights

• Combined effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia are investigated in mussels.

• Physiological activities of mussels are inhibited by low pH and hypoxia.

• OA and hypoxia exert additive effects on the physiological metabolism of mussels.

Abstract

Apart from ocean acidification, hypoxia is another stressor to marine organisms, especially those in coastal waters. Their interactive effects of elevated CO2 and hypoxia on the physiological energetics in mussel Mytilus edulis were evaluated. Mussels were exposed to three pH levels (8.1, 7.7, 7.3) at two dissolved oxygen levels (6 and 2 mg L−1) and clearance rate, absorption efficiency, respiration rate, excretion rate, scope for growth and O: N ratio were measured during a14-day exposure. After exposure, all parameters (except excretion rate) were significantly reduced under low pH and hypoxic conditions, whereas excretion rate was significantly increased. Additive effects of low pH and hypoxia were evident for all parameters and low pH appeared to elicit a stronger effect than hypoxia (2.0 mg L−1). Overall, hypoxia can aggravate the effects of acidification on the physiological energetics of mussels, and their populations may be diminished by these stressors.

Gu H., Shang Y., Clements J., Dupont S., Wang T., Wei S., Wang X., Chen J., Huang W., Hu M. & Wang Y., 2019. Hypoxia aggravates the effects of ocean acidification on the physiological energetics of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Marine Pollution Bulletin 149: 110538. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110538. Article (subscription required).

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