CO2-driven seawater acidification increases cadmium toxicity in a marine copepod


  • Copepods were interactively exposed to higher pCO2 (1000 μatm) and Cd (500 μg/L).
  • Elevated pCO2 significantly increased Cd bioaccumulation in Tigriopus japonicus.
  • Copepods enhanced energy production and stress response to counteract Cd toxicity.
  • Increased pCO2 aggravated Cd-induced oxidative damage and apoptosis.
  • Seawater acidification will potentially boost Cd toxicity in marine copepods.


Here, we examined the 48-h acute toxicity of cadmium (Cd) in the marine copepod Tigriopus japonicus under two pCO2 concentrations (400 and 1000 μatm). Subsequently, T. japonicus was interactively exposed to different pCO2 (400, 1000 μatm) and Cd (control, 500 μg/L) treatments for 48 h. After exposure, biochemical and physiological responses were analyzed for the copepods. The results showed that the 48-h LC50 values of Cd were calculated as 12.03 mg/L and 9.08 mg/L in T. japonicus, respectively, under 400 and 1000 μatm pCO2 conditions. Cd exposure significantly promoted Cd exclusion/glycolysis, detoxification/stress response, and oxidative stress/apoptosis while it depressed that of antioxidant capacity. Intriguingly, CO2-driven acidification enhanced Cd bioaccumulation and its toxicity in T. japonicus. Overall, our study provides a mechanistic understanding about the interaction between seawater acidification and Cd pollution in marine copepods.

Wei H., Bai Z., Xie D., Chen Y. & Wang M., 2021. CO2-driven seawater acidification increases cadmium toxicity in a marine copepod. Marine Pollution Bulletin 173(Part B): 113145. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.113145. Article (subscription required).

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