Posts Tagged 'fish'

Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.

Continue reading ‘Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries’

Swimming performance of marine fish larvae: review of a universal trait under ecological and environmental pressure

The larval phase of marine teleost fishes is characterized by important morphological and physiological modifications. Many of these modifications improve the larvae’s ability to swim, which satisfies a suite of crucial biological and ecological functions. Indeed, larval fish swimming performance has been considered a good proxy for overall condition, a predictor for growth and survival, and particularly helpful in assessing effects of natural and anthropogenic stress. Several methodologies have been developed to test larval fish swimming performance; however, measured swimming capabilities can strongly depend on the methodology utilised and developmental stage investigated. The aims of this review were, therefore, to link the ontogenetic development of swimming performance in early life stages of marine fishes, particularly the anatomical and physiological processes around the fins, muscles, and gills, with both the experimental methodologies used and the environmental stressors tested. We conducted a literature search and found 156 research papers relevant to swimming performance of marine teleost fish larvae. We found swimming performance to be highly variable among species and driven by temperature. In a meta-analysis focusing on the impacts of environmental stress on larval swimming performance, we found that prey reduction had the greatest impact on swimming. Methods used to evaluate swimming should keep the ontogenetic stage a focus, as forced swimming experiments are unfit for larvae prior to flexion of the notochord. Overall, while the data are deficient in some areas, we are able to highlight where the field of larval fish swimming could be directed and provide insight into which methods are best used under certain ecological scenarios, environmental stressors, and developmental stages.

Continue reading ‘Swimming performance of marine fish larvae: review of a universal trait under ecological and environmental pressure’

Long-term exposure to near-future ocean acidification does not affect the expression of neurogenesis- and synaptic transmission-related genes in the olfactory bulb of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)

The decrease in ocean pH that results from the increased concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) is likely to influence many physiological functions in organisms. It has been shown in different fish species that ocean acidification (OA) mainly affects sensory systems, including olfaction. Impairment of olfactory function may be due to a dysfunction of the GABAergic system and to an alteration of neuronal plasticity in the whole brain and particularly in olfactory bulbs. Recent studies revealed that OA-driven effects on sensory systems are partly mediated by the regulation of the expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and neuronal development. However, these studies were performed in fish exposed to acidified waters for short periods, of only a few days. In the present paper, we investigated whether such effects could be observed in adult (4-years old) European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed to two hypercapnic and acidified conditions (PCO2 ≈ 980 µatm; pH total = 7.7 and PCO2 ≈ 1520 µatm; pH total = 7.5) from the larval stage. In a first approach, we analyzed by qPCR the expression of five genes involved in neurogenesis (DCX) or expressed in GABAergic (Gabra3), glutamatergic (Gria1) or dopaminergic (TH and DDC) neurons in the olfactory bulbs. The tested experimental conditions did not change the expression of any of the five genes. This result would indicate that a potential disruption of the olfactory function of sea bass exposed for a long term to near-future OA, either occurs at a level other than the transcriptional one or involves other actors of the sensory function.

Continue reading ‘Long-term exposure to near-future ocean acidification does not affect the expression of neurogenesis- and synaptic transmission-related genes in the olfactory bulb of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)’

Negative effects of diurnal changes in acidification and hypoxia on early-life stage estuarine fishes

Estuaries serve as important nursery habitats for various species of early-life stage fish, but can experience cooccurring acidification and hypoxia that can vary diurnally in intensity. This study examines the effects of acidification (pH 7.2–7.4) and hypoxia (dissolved oxygen (DO) ~ 2–4 mg L−1) as individual and combined stressors on four fitness metrics for three species of forage fish endemic to the U.S. East Coast: Menidia menidia, Menidia beryllina, and Cyprinodon variegatus. Additionally, the impacts of various durations of exposure to these two stressors was also assessed to explore the sensitivity threshold for larval fishes under environmentally-representative conditions. C. variegatus was resistant to chronic low pH, while M. menidia and M. beryllina experienced significantly reduced survival and hatch time, respectively. Exposure to hypoxia resulted in reduced hatch success of both Menidia species, as well as diminished survival of M. beryllina larvae. Diurnal exposure to low pH and low DO for 4 or 8 h did not alter survival of M. beryllina, although 8 or 12 h of daily exposure through the 10 days posthatch significantly depressed larval size. In contrast, M. menidia experienced significant declines in survival for all intervals of diel cycling hypoxia and acidification (4–12 h). Exposure to 12-h diurnal hypoxia generally elicited negative effects equal to, or of greater severity, than chronic exposure to low DO at the same levels despite significantly higher mean DO exposure concentrations. This evidences a substantial biological cost to adapting to changing DO levels, and implicates diurnal cycling of DO as a significant threat to fish larvae in estuaries. Larval responses to hypoxia, and to a lesser extent acidification, in this study on both continuous and diurnal timescales indicate that estuarine conditions throughout the spawning and postspawn periods could adversely affect stocks of these fish, with diverse implications for the remainder of the food web.

Continue reading ‘Negative effects of diurnal changes in acidification and hypoxia on early-life stage estuarine fishes’

Ocean acidification does not impair the behaviour of coral reef fishes

The partial pressure of CO2 in the oceans has increased rapidly over the past century, driving ocean acidification and raising concern for the stability of marine ecosystems1,2,3. Coral reef fishes are predicted to be especially susceptible to end-of-century ocean acidification on the basis of several high-profile papers4,5 that have reported profound behavioural and sensory impairments—for example, complete attraction to the chemical cues of predators under conditions of ocean acidification. Here, we comprehensively and transparently show that—in contrast to previous studies—end-of-century ocean acidification levels have negligible effects on important behaviours of coral reef fishes, such as the avoidance of chemical cues from predators, fish activity levels and behavioural lateralization (left–right turning preference). Using data simulations, we additionally show that the large effect sizes and small within-group variances that have been reported in several previous studies are highly improbable. Together, our findings indicate that the reported effects of ocean acidification on the behaviour of coral reef fishes are not reproducible, suggesting that behavioural perturbations will not be a major consequence for coral reef fishes in high CO2 oceans.

Continue reading ‘Ocean acidification does not impair the behaviour of coral reef fishes’

Effect of seawater pH on selected blood biochemical parameters of juvenile turbot Scophthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758)

The effect of seawater pH on blood physiology in juvenile turbot Scophthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758) reared in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) was examined. S. maximus (19.89±0.25 g) were exposed to six pH levels at 6.3±0.2, 6.8±0.2, 7.3±0.2, 7.8±0.2, 8.3±0.2 and 8.8±0.2. Haemoglobin content (HBC) at acidic conditions was higher compared to that under alkaline conditions. The frequency of total nuclear anomalies (FTNA) was high at pH levels below 7.3 or above 8.3. The relationship between FTNA and pH was well described using a quadratic equation. Alkaline phosphatase activity was significantly declined at pH above 8.3, while total superoxide dismutase activity (T-SOD) remained virtually unchanged among all treatments. This study demonstrated that HBC and FTNA can be used as reliable biomarkers to evaluate the effect of pH in aquatic ectotherms from physiological standpoints. Our findings suggest that environmental pH in RAS ranging from 6.8 to 7.8 is appropriate for juvenile turbot aquaculture.

Continue reading ‘Effect of seawater pH on selected blood biochemical parameters of juvenile turbot Scophthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758)’

Elevated CO2 and food ration affect growth but not the size-based hierarchy of a reef fish

Under projected levels of ocean acidification, shifts in energetic demands and food availability could interact to effect the growth and development of marine organisms. Changes to individual growth rates could then flow on to influence emergent properties of social groups, particularly in species that form size-based hierarchies. To test the potential interactive effects of (1) food availability, (2) elevated CO2 during juvenile development, and (3) parental experience of elevated CO2 on the growth, condition and size-based hierarchy of juvenile fish, we reared orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) for 50 days post-hatching in a fully orthogonal design. Development in elevated CO2 reduced standard length and weight of juveniles, by 9% and 11% respectively, compared to ambient. Development under low food availability reduced length and weight of juveniles by 7% and 15% respectively, compared to high food. Parental exposure to elevated CO2 restored the length of juveniles to that of controls, but it did not restore weight, resulting in juveniles from elevated CO2 parents exhibiting 33% lower body condition when reared in elevated CO2. The body size ratios (relative size of a fish from the rank above) within juvenile groups were not affected by any treatment, suggesting relative robustness of group-level structure despite alterations in individual size and condition. This study demonstrates that both food availability and elevated CO2 can influence the physical attributes of juvenile reef fish, but these changes may not disrupt the emergent group structure of this social species, at least amongst juveniles.

Continue reading ‘Elevated CO2 and food ration affect growth but not the size-based hierarchy of a reef fish’

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,318,642 hits


Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book