Seabream larval physiology under ocean warming and acidification

The vulnerability of early fish stages represents a critical bottleneck for fish recruitment; therefore, it is essential to understand how climate change affects their physiology for more sustainable management of fisheries. Here, we investigated the effects of warming (OW; +4 °C) and acidification (OA; ΔpH = 0.5) on the heart and oxygen consumption rates, metabolic enzymatic machinery—namely citrate synthase (CS), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and ß-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase (HOAD), of seabream (Sparus aurata) larvae (fifteen days after hatch). Oxygen consumption and heart rates showed a significant increase with rising temperature, but decreased with pCO2. Results revealed a significant increase of LDH activity with OW and a significant decrease of the aerobic potential (CS and HOAD activity) of larvae with OA. In contrast, under OA, the activity levels of the enzyme LDH and the LDH:CS ratio indicated an enhancement of anaerobic pathways. Although such a short-term metabolic strategy may eventually sustain the basic costs of maintenance, it might not be adequate under the future chronic ocean conditions. Given that the potential for adaptation to new forthcoming conditions is yet experimentally unaccounted for this species, future research is essential to accurately predict the physiological performance of this commercially important species under future ocean conditions. View Full-Text

Pimentel M. S., Faleiro F., Machado J., Pousão-Ferreira P. & Rosa R., 2020. Seabream larval physiology under ocean warming and acidification. Fishes 5 (1): 1. doi: 10.3390/fishes5010001. Article.

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