Ocean acidification induces carry-over effects on the larval settlement of the New Zealand abalone, Haliotis iris

Larval settlement is a key process in the lifecycle of benthic marine organisms; however, little is known on how it could change in reduced seawater pH and carbonate saturation states under future ocean acidification (OA). This is important, as settlement ensures species occur in optimal environments and, for commercially important species such as abalone, reduced settlement could decrease future population success. We investigated how OA could affect settlement success in the New Zealand abalone Haliotis iris by examining: (1) direct effects of seawater at ambient (pHT 8.05) and reduced pHT (7.65) at the time of settlement, (2) indirect effects of settlement substrates (crustose coralline algae, CCA) preconditioned at ambient and reduced pHT for 171 days, and (3) carry-over effects, by examining settlement in larvae reared to competency at ambient and reduced pHT (7.80). We found no effects of seawater pH or CCA incubation on larval settlement success. OA-induced carry-over effects were evident, with lower settlement in larvae reared at reduced pH. Understanding the mechanisms behind these responses is key to fully comprehend the extent to which OA will affect marine organisms and the industries that rely on them.

Espinel-Velasco N., Lamare M., Kluibenschedl A., Moss G. & Cummings V., 2020. Ocean acidification induces carry-over effects on the larval settlement of the New Zealand abalone, Haliotis irisICES Journal of Marine Science fsaa086. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsaa086. Article (subscription required).

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