Direct and latent effects of ocean acidification on the transition of a sea urchin from planktonic larva to benthic juvenile

Ongoing ocean acidification (OA) is expected to affect marine organisms and ecosystems. While sea urchins can survive a wide range of pH, this comes at a high energetic cost, and early life stages are particularly vulnerable. Information on how OA affects transitions between life-history stages is scarce. We evaluated the direct and indirect effects of pH (pHT 8.0, 7.6 and 7.2) on the development and transition between life-history stages of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, from fertilization to early juvenile. Continuous exposure to low pH negatively affected larval mortality and growth. At pH 7.2, formation of the rudiment (the primordial juvenile) was delayed by two days. Larvae raised at pH 8.0 and transferred to 7.2 after competency had mortality rates five to six times lower than those kept at 8.0, indicating that pH also has a direct effect on older, competent larvae. Latent effects were visible on the larvae raised at pH 7.6: they were more successful in settling (45%) and metamorphosing (30%) than larvae raised at 8.0 (17 and 1% respectively). These direct and indirect effects of OA on settlement and metamorphosis have important implications for population survival.

Narimane D., Emanuela B., Nadjejda E.-V. & Sam D., 2021. Direct and latent effects of ocean acidification on the transition of a sea urchin from planktonic larva to benthic juvenile. bioRxiv. Article.


  • Reset

Subscribe

OA-ICC Highlights


%d bloggers like this: