Impact on fertility rate and embryo-larval development due to the association acidification, ocean warming and lead contamination of a sea urchin Echinometra lucunter (echinodermata: echinoidea)

Ocean warming and acidification can cause deleterious effects on marine biota, which may be potentialized when associated with metal pollution. Thus, the aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of pH decrease, temperature increase and lead contamination on fertility rate and embryo-larval development of Echinometra lucunter. Gametes and embryos were exposed at pH 8.2 (control) and 7.5; at 26°C (control) and 28°C; and at lead concentrations of 0 (control), 125, 250 and 500 μg/L. These conditions were tested individually and in combination. The fertilization rate of E. lucunter was only significantly reduced in the treatments where temperature was increased and in the treatment where pH decreased. However, the development rate of the pluteus larvae was significantly affected in the majority of treatments: metal contamination in the higher concentration; decreased pH in all metal concentrations; increased temperature in the highest metal concentration; decreased pH and increased temperature and all variables combined, which is decreased pH, increased temperature and metal contamination in relation to the control group (C). The development test was shown to be more sensitive than the fertilization test in all the studied scenarios. In general, the present study suggests that pH decrease, temperature increase and metal pollution may have a significant impact on E. lucunter reproductive cycle.

Caetano L. S., Pereira T. M., Envangelista J. D., Cabral D. S., Coppo G. C., Alves de Souza L., Anderson A. B., Heringer O. A. & Chippari-Gomes A. R., in press. Impact on fertility rate and embryo-larval development due to the association acidification, ocean warming and lead contamination of a sea urchin Echinometra lucunter (echinodermata: echinoidea). Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Article (subscription required).


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