Effects of anthropogenic stressorson Helgoland’s lobsters(Homarus gammarus)

As meroplankton, lobsters make up a great portion of both benthic communities and planktonic fauna in the water column. Furthermore, they represent a mayor food source across the marine food web and a vital source of protein for humans. As an economically important species, lobsters are highly susceptible to anthropogenic stressors (e.g habitat destruction, over-fishing, noise pollution). Moreover, climate change may magnify the impact of human activities on lobsters’ fitness. The collapse of the population of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) around Helgoland constitutes a good example and prompted a largescale restocking program. Yet, the question arises if recruitment of remaining natural individuals and program released specimens could be stunted by ongoing climate change and human activities.

In my thesis I investigate the effect of several anthropogenic stressors that could potentially be affecting the route to recovery of Helgoland’s lobsters.

Owing to the difficulties in catching lobster larvae in the field, I used larvae from lobster-rearing facilities to study the effects of anthropogenic stress on larval development and physiology. Studies on the effects of climate change on European lobster larvae have mostly focused on the isolated effect of ocean acidification or warming. Acidification treatments were based on two shared socio-economic pathways emitted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the amount of atmospheric CO2 for the end of the century. This study is the first to provide a more complete picture of the thermal limits at different levels of biological organization of lobster larvae under acidification by including a ten-level temperature gradient setup (13-24°C) The results show temperature was positively correlated with growth and energy metabolism; while, pCO2 had a negative impact on survival and morphology. Thus, climate change could potentially stunt the European lobster restocking efforts taking place on the island.

Rivera L. L., 2023. Effects of anthropogenic stressorson Helgoland’s lobsters(Homarus gammarus). PhD thesis, Universität Bremen, 103 p. Thesis.

  • Reset


OA-ICC Highlights

%d bloggers like this: