Posts Tagged 'crustaceans'

Influence of environmental conditions on the toxicokinetics of cadmium in the marine copepod Acartia tonsa

Marine and estuarine ecosystems are highly productive areas that often act as a final sink for several pollutants, such as cadmium. Environmental conditions in these habitats can affect metal speciation, as well as its uptake and depuration by living organisms. The aim of this study was to assess cadmium uptake and depuration rates in the euryhaline calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa under different pH, salinity and temperature conditions. Cadmium speciation did not vary with changing pH or temperature, but varied with salinity. Free Cd2+ ion activity increased with decreasing salinities resulting in increased cadmium concentrations in A. tonsa. However, uptake rate, derived using free Cd2+ ion activity, showed no significant differences at different salinities indicating a simultaneous combined effect of Cd2+ speciation and metabolic rates for osmoregulation. Cadmium concentration in A. tonsa and uptake rate increased with increasing pH, showing a peak at the intermediate pH of 7.5, while depuration rate fluctuated, thus suggesting that both parameters are mediated by metabolic processes (to maintain homeostasis at pH levels lower than normal) and ion competition at membrane binding sites. Cadmium concentration in A. tonsa, uptake and depuration rates increased with increasing temperature, a trend that can be attributed to an increase in metabolic energy demand at higher temperatures. The present study shows that cadmium uptake and depuration rates in the marine copepod A. tonsa is mostly affected by biological processes, mainly driven by metabolic mechanisms, and to a lesser extent by metal speciation in the exposure medium.

Continue reading ‘Influence of environmental conditions on the toxicokinetics of cadmium in the marine copepod Acartia tonsa’

Potential impact of carbonate chemistry change (pCO2) on krill and krill-based food chain in the Southern Ocean with emphasis on embryogenesis of Antarctic krill

In the Southern Ocean, it is still not certain that overall krill biomass may decline because of drastic increase in pCO2, and consequent decline in pH. However, there is evidence that ecological vacuums created by krill population collapses caused by ecosystem shifts in Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region led to replacement of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba by soft-bodied salps Salpa thomsoni. There is yet another questionable hypothesis that by the end of 21st century, ocean acidification stress, coupled with thermal increase, may synergistically induce physiologically critical stress to Antarctic krill in some areas of the Southern Ocean, egg development of krill may drastically decrease and in the 23rd century krill may even become extinct. I have earlier reported on normal krill egg development in relation to thermal change and high pressure (George and Stromberg, 1985). Recent experiments on krill development under different pCO2 conditions by Kawaguchi et al. (2011, 2013) suggest that we may witness 20 to 70 % reduction in Antarctic Krill by 2100 as direct consequence of pH decline. Such a scenario may lead to demise of krill-eating top-predators like baleen whales, seals and different species of Antarctic penguin populations. We now know that Adelaide penguins are decreasing in Bransfield Strait region off of the Western Antarctic Peninsula but increasing in Ross Sea region. Such a shift in breeding colonies moving from northern to southern WAP region and Ross Sea areas is not attributed to any decline in krill biomass but recent decadal melting of sea-ice as documented by remote sensing (George and Hayden, 2017). In this paper the main focus revolves around implications of changing chemistry of the Southern Ocean caused by absorption of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.
Continue reading ‘Potential impact of carbonate chemistry change (pCO2) on krill and krill-based food chain in the Southern Ocean with emphasis on embryogenesis of Antarctic krill’

Decreased pH and increased temperatures affect young-of-the-year red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

The red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) is a high-latitude commercially important species with a complex life-history cycle which encompasses a wide variety of conditions and habitats. High-latitude waters, including those around Alaska where red king crab live, are predicted to have increased ocean acidification and temperatures in comparison to other areas. The interaction of ocean acidification and increased temperature has not been examined for any life history stage of red king crab. To determine the effects of near-future ocean acidification and warming temperature on young-of-the-year red king crab survival, growth, and morphology, we conducted a long-term (184 d) fully crossed experiment with two pHs and three temperatures: ambient pH (∼7.99), pH 7.8, ambient temperature, ambient +2 °C, and ambient +4 °C, for a total of six treatments. Mortality increased with exposure to reduced pH and higher temperatures, but a clear trend in the interactive effects of the stressors was not observed. A synergetic effect on mortality was observed in the pH 7.8 and ambient +4 °C temperature treatment. This treatment also had the lowest survival with only 3% surviving to the end of the experiment. However, an antagonistic effect on mortality was observed in the pH 7.8 and ambient +2 °C treatment. Lower pH and warmer temperatures affected intermoult duration, only temperature affected percent increase in size, but carapace length was not affected. Decreased pH and increased temperature had no effect on morphology. The results of this study combined with other studies show that decreased pH and warming has profound negative effects on red king crab. Unless the species is able to adapt or acclimate to changing climate conditions, red king crabs populations may decrease in the upcoming decades due to ocean acidification and rising temperatures.

Continue reading ‘Decreased pH and increased temperatures affect young-of-the-year red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)’

Ocean acidification leads to altered micromechanical properties of the mineralized cuticle in juvenile red and blue king crabs

Ocean acidification (OA) adversely affects a broad range of marine calcifying organisms. Crustaceans, however, exhibit mixed responses to OA, with growth or survival negatively affected in some species, but unaffected or positively affected in others. In crustaceans, the mineralized cuticle resists mechanical loads, provides protection from the environment, and enables mobility, but little is known about how OA or interactions between OA and temperature affect its structure or function. Here, the effects of OA on the mechanics, structure, and composition of the cuticle in two Alaska king crab species was assessed. Juvenile blue king crabs (Paralithodes platypus) were exposed for a year to three pH levels, 8.1 (ambient), 7.8 and 7.5. Juvenile red king crabs (Paralithodes camtschaticus) were exposed for ~ 6 months to two pH levels, 8.0 and 7.8, at three temperatures: ambient, ambient + 2 °C, and ambient + 4 °C. Cuticle microhardness (a measure of resistance to permanent or plastic mechanical deformation), thickness, ultrastructure, and elemental composition were assessed in two body regions, the carapace and the crushing chela (claw). In both species tested, OA reduced endocuticle microhardness in the chela, but not in the carapace. There was no effect of pH or temperature on total procuticle thickness of the chela or carapace in either species. Reductions in microhardness were not driven by reduced calcium content of the shell. In fact, calcium content was significantly elevated in the carapace of blue king crabs and in the chela of red king crabs exposed to lower than ambient pH at ambient temperature, suggesting that calcium content alone is not a sufficient proxy for mechanical properties. Reduced chela microhardness, indicative of more compliant material, could compromise the utility of crushing chelae in feeding and defense.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification leads to altered micromechanical properties of the mineralized cuticle in juvenile red and blue king crabs’

Impact of climate change on direct and indirect species interactions

Recent marine climate change research has largely focused on the response of individual species to environmental changes including warming and acidification. The response of communities, driven by the direct effects of ocean change on individual species as well the cascade of indirect effects, has received far less study. We used several rocky intertidal species including crabs, whelks, juvenile abalone, and mussels to determine how feeding, growth, and interactions between species could be shifted by changing ocean conditions. Our 10 wk experiment revealed many complex outcomes which highlight the unpredictability of community-level responses. Contrary to our predictions, the largest impact of elevated CO2 was reduced crab feeding and survival, with a pH drop of 0.3 units. Surprisingly, whelks showed no response to higher temperatures or CO2 levels, while abalone shells grew 40% less under high CO2 conditions. Massive non-consumptive effects of crabs on whelks showed how important indirect effects can be in determining climate change responses. Predictions of species outcomes that account solely for physiological responses to climate change do not consider the potentially large role of indirect effects due to species interactions. For strongly linked species (e.g. predator-prey or competitor relationships), the indirect effects of climate change are much less known than direct effects, but may be far more powerful in reshaping future marine communities.

Continue reading ‘Impact of climate change on direct and indirect species interactions’

Is the chemical composition of biomass the agent by which ocean acidification influences on zooplankton ecology?

Climate change impacts prevail on marine pelagic systems and food webs, including zooplankton, the key link between primary producers and fish. Several metabolic, physiological, and ecological responses of zooplankton species and communities to global stressors have recently been tested, with an emerging field in assessing effects of combined climate-related factors. Yet, integrative studies are needed to understand how ocean acidification interacts with global warming, mediating zooplankton body chemistry and ecology. Here, we tested the combined effects of global warming and ocean acidification, predicted for the year 2100, on a community of calanoid copepods, a ubiquitously important mesozooplankton compartment. Warming combined with tested pCO2 increase affected metabolism, altered stable isotope composition and fatty acid contents, and reduced zooplankton fitness, leading to lower copepodite abundances and decreased body sizes, and ultimately reduced survival. These interactive effects of temperature and acidification indicate that metabolism-driven chemical responses may be the underlying correlates of ecological effects observed in zooplankton communities, and highlight the importance of testing combined stressors with a regression approach when identifying possible effects on higher trophic levels.

Continue reading ‘Is the chemical composition of biomass the agent by which ocean acidification influences on zooplankton ecology?’

Effects of seawater pH and temperature on foraging behavior of the Japanese stone crab Charybdis japonica

We examined prey selection and foraging behaviors of the crab Charybdis japonica exposed to four combinations of pH (7.3 and 8.1) and temperature (18 °C and 25 °C). The order of prey selection by C. japonica was Potamocorbula laevis, Ruditapes philippinarum, Tegillarca granosa and Mactra veneriformis. Under high pCO2, times for searching, breaking, eating and handling were all significantly longer than those at the normal pCO2, and the prey profitability and predation rate under high pCO2 were significantly lower than normal pCO2. Moreover, temperature significantly influenced the foraging behaviors, but its effects were not as strong as those of pH; times for searching, eating and handling under high temperature were significantly lower than the low temperature, and the prey predation rates under high temperature was significantly higher than low temperature. In conclusion, high pCO2 negatively affected the foraging behavior, but high temperature actively stimulated the foraging behaviors of crabs.

Continue reading ‘Effects of seawater pH and temperature on foraging behavior of the Japanese stone crab Charybdis japonica’


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